Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Ps 23:6 ESV
Gracious God as we look at this photo, we overlay it with the story of Zacchaeus:-
Zacchaeus, a wealthy and unpopular tax collector (he often cheated people out of their taxes) knew that Jesus was passing through his home town of Jericho. Zacchaeus had heard about Jesus and wanted to see him for himself.
As Jesus arrived, accompanied by his followers and the crowds, Zacchaeus, being short, realised he would not catch a glimpse of Jesus unless he took action. So he ran ahead and climbed a tree, with a good vantage point to take a closer look at Jesus.
But, as Jesus passed by, he stopped, looked up and called to Zacchaeus to come down from the tree, and to the displeasure of the crowd, announced he was going to stay with Zacchaeus in his house that day.
Zacchaeus came down from the tree, he was incredulous, but overjoyed. He promised to give half his possessions to the poor and repay anyone he had defrauded 4 times the amount. Jesus said “today salvation has come to this house”.
(St Luke’s gospel chapter 19)
Zacchaeus was interested in Jesus, he wanted to get a closer look, wanted to find out more.
Maybe he thought “Why would he be interested in me? He is busy with others, he wouldn’t want anything to do with me, surely not…..?”
Loving and merciful God, you call to each of us out of your goodness and love. We cannot hide from your notice or attention. Your gracious love transforms us. Nothing and no-one is beyond the reach of your redemptive love. Thank you for your love and concern for each one of us.
Help us to come to you in the light of your love and in the sure knowledge that in Jesus we will never find condemnation. We find only mercy, forgiveness, love and acceptance, a release from burdens and a fresh, new start. Help us to love and accept other as you love us. Loving and merciful God we praise you.