“Zaccheus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.
What strikes me in this story is that it seems Jesus does not wait for an invitation from Zaccheus; in fact he seems to bulldoze his way into Zaccheus’s house, into his life. This is contrary to what I know of God–tender and patient, willing to wait for my first glance toward the window of my soul, where his stones have been rattling to waken me. If I were Zaccheus though, I’d know to expect rejection, I’d know that Jesus would never accept an invitation from me, never mind be looking for one, and I’d protect myself from the inevitable pain. But, if I look again, I think I can see that Zaccheus invited Jesus by his actions; his childlike tree climbing showed a silent longing for Jesus to come into his house and his life. Would you respond so eagerly if Jesus told you, ‘I am coming to dinner tonight?’ Would you be worried about the state of your house, if there would be enough food, if it would be too ordinary a meal for a special visitor–or perhaps you are not sure you want Jesus in your house … what might he say? What might he do? What changes might he prompt you to make? How do you know it will be all right? But look again and wonder if there is some unspoken invitation in your life–whatever Jesus brings, your heart may be secretly longing for it already.
As you prepare to eat each meal today, imagine Jesus telling you he would join you, eat with you.
Lord you know rejection and pain. Thank you that I need never fear these from you. I want to invite you into my house today …
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