Reading: Luke 19.1-10
We live in the “lucky country”. We have just spent a fortnight’s holiday in which we drove to Brisbane and flew to Newcastle. There’s no doubt that, given the irrigation system, the Burdekin is some of the most productive country we have seen. Certainly we didn’t see sugar cane to match it anywhere.
And there’s our danger – we don’t know how rich we are and don’t realise how poor we are.
The chief tax-collector of Jericho – Zacchaeus – was wealthy, but too short and too unpopular to get a normal vantage-point to see Jesus. So he climbed a sycamore-fig tree. These trees grow to a height of between nine and twelve metres high. That’s quite some tree. Zacchaeus was just looking for a suitable branch – hopefully to watch unnoticed.
But – amazingly, Jesus did see him, called him down, went to his house… And the mean little rich man became a much bigger person and began giving away his wealth.
We have so much. We are “built on liquid gold”– that’s how we announce ourselves to travellers. But something is seriously wrong if we aren’t “more than liquid gold”.
It is said that a person wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.
Jesus said he had come “to seek and to save what was lost”. That means calling us out of ourselves to tap into the divine resources of grace – for forgiveness, for wisdom, for genuine unselfish care.
Prayer: Eternal Lord, we have so much – and don’t realise how poor we are! Give us the good sense to reach beyond our own wisdom and resources, to depend on your grace. Grant us clear understanding and competent judgment in all matters before us today. We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.
© Peter J. Blackburn, Burdekin Shire Council devotions, 25 October 2004