Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Today in Mercy, the author of Revelation says some pretty tough stuff in the name of God!
To the Church at Sardis:
You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead.
To the Church at Laodicea:
Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold,
I will spit you out of my mouth.
As most of us know from experience, it’s never really easy to accept negative feedback. But, couched in gentle, encouraging tones, it can be accepted and acted on. John of Patmos, author of Revelation, missed that lesson in coaching techniques!
How effective his words were with the under-performing churches is a matter left to history.
But in our Gospel, Jesus’s inclusive, forgiving words to Zaccheus proved very effective. Jesus doesn’t even address any shortcomings (not to make a pun) in Zaccheus.
He just says, “Come down from your tree. I’m coming to your house for dinner.” In other words, I’m coming into your life — now what’s your response?
Zaccheus is radically changed by Jesus’s lavish mercy. He responds,
“Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor,
and if I have extorted anything from anyone
I shall repay it four times over.”
Today, we pray to have a simple, trusting faith. Sometimes, like Zaccheus, we get ourselves “up a tree”, all twisted and stretching to find God in our lives. And all the time, God has been walking straight down the path of our heart, smiling at our efforts, planning to stay with us tonight, tomorrow and forever.
Music: Zaccheus – Medical Mission Sisters