“Zacchaeus was a wee little man and a wee little man was he….” Did you grow up singing that song as a child? I remember how fun it was to sing it with my friends, complete with motions that mimicked him climbing up that tree. When Jesus says, “Come on down, for I’m going to your house today,” we all shouted those words at the top of our lungs. It was a fun, happy, almost bucolic scene.
But, is that truly what happened? Did Zacchaeus jump up in that tree, hang from the branches to see Jesus, just to hop down and take Jesus home, with a big cheer from the crowd? This Sunday we will explore this question about Zacchaeus from his story found in Luke 19:1-10. As you read, I encourage you to think about questions that might open up some other possibilities.
Zacchaeus had a job that enabled him to profit from a corrupt economic system that allowed and encouraged him to rob and defraud those on the lower rungs of his society. Because of that and his ill-gotten wealth, he was not welcomed or wanted by most people. How did Jesus change the people’s perception of Zacchaeus? How did Jesus’ generous and loving welcome invite him into community? And, fitting with our theme of Unraveled, how did Zacchaeus live into a new life when his vocational life unraveled? One of the most beautiful parts of Zacchaeus’ story is how he responded to his unraveling with joy.
We will ask some of these same questions of ourselves this week as we look at vocation. We will also explore how we, like Jesus, can open up opportunities to welcome others who find bits of our their lives unraveling. I hope you will join us.