Reflection of the Week - 1st November 2022

By Rev Anne Hewitt

Posted in Faith

Psalm 119:137-144 / Luke 19:1-10

Wealthy, corrupt and unscrupulous. Shocking the gathered crowd and righteous folk. Unsettling Law, tradition and culture. Sharing food and wine as if friends or even family. Why would he do that? I mean Jesus.

As he journeys towards Jerusalem, Jesus befriends the ‘unacceptable’, is often criticised for being offensive or contradicting Jewish Law. He has the uncanny knack of seeking out the most unloved, unpopular and ‘sinful’ person, and befriending them. Luke 18: 9-14 tells of an anguished middle-man tax collector, seeking forgiveness. Zacchaeus may very well have been his ‘boss’.  Zaccheus must have felt SO honoured that this travelling charismatic preacher of Good News, sort him out particularly, invited himself to Zaccheus home, and expected to be fed and rested.

Perhaps, Jesus was doing something else entirely - noting the one on the edges of society, whose immoral way of living, warped sense of justice, greed, manipulation, coercion and disrespect for others was legendary. Perhaps, Jesus was demonstrating God’s Way - beyond custom, culture and Law, by loving his ‘neighbour’ and showing Zaccheus a better way to live in community through respect and honouring others; by demonstrating to the crowd how to approach even those who are despised. Forgiving the ‘least lovely’ does not mean accepting the way they live; though can open them to a new way of being in God…which is exactly what happened.

Source: © Rev Anne Hewitt 12/10/2022


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