“Familiarity breeds contempt.” Or so goes the old maxim. Sometimes I wonder if there are times where we hear a passage of Scripture so frequently we tell it what to mean. There is little doubt I have expressed something like this before. But, this week one of our texts is that story of “Zacchaeus was a wee little man.” Children’s songs are catchy. And, like some of the adult songs we sing they stop short of the whole picture. Combine our memories of these little jingles and the repetition of the telling of the story and we are often left thinking we know the story too well. Luke intends to tell Theophilus the story of Jesus. He includes this story. Christian musical artist/theologian Michael Card considers Luke to always point out that the “people who should get Jesus don’t, and the people who shouldn’t get Jesus do.” Maybe he is on to something when we come to Zacchaeus.
Sometimes Sunday mornings require a certain sensibility. We do have “young ears” sitting with us. Many times I wonder if our interest not to have to explain what the “preacher” said keeps us from letting the reality of the stories sink deeply into our understanding of the love of God in Jesus the Christ. For instance, when we think of Tax Collectors it is a bit ambiguous for the pastor to ask you to consider who represents that “class” of person for you. It is unclear because we often do not think deeply enough about what this means. We are not talking about your most troublesome relationship. We are not talking about your ethnic phobias. We are talking about people who for you represent everything that is wrong with society. Read More