If I were to ask what you miss most during these days of stay-at-home orders because of COVID19, I believe most would say it is gathering with family and friends — sharing a meal or a cup of coffee, celebrating a birthday, attending a wedding, hugs. . . It wouldn’t be the trappings dollars can purchase, or even the exotic places we would love to visit. Perhaps that’s because we are built for relationship.
Jesus reminds us of the relationship he desires to have with us. His theme focuses on gathering together.
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” ~John 6:35
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” ~Revelation 3:20
Jesus invited Himself to spend time in Zacchaeus’ home. Like the little girl in the photo Zacchaeus was up a tree. Zack wanted to see Jesus. Here’s the story:
He entered Jericho and was passing through. There was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but he was not able because of the crowd, since he was a short man. So running ahead, he climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus, since He was about to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down because today I must stay at your house.”
So he quickly came down and welcomed Him joyfully. All who saw it began to complain, “He’s gone to lodge with a sinful man!”
But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, I’ll give half of my possessions to the poor, Lord! And if I have extorted anything from anyone, I’ll pay back four times as much!”
“Today salvation has come to this house,” Jesus told him, “because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:1-9
Do you hear the excitement in Zacchaeus’ and in Jesus’ voice? They looked forward to special time gathered together at Zack’s house Not everyone around them was thrilled with the arrangement. Those who witnessed the encounter complained about “who” exactly Jesus would be visiting. Perhaps they were jealous because their own relationships lacked. Maybe they remembered a dinner or a birthday party they hadn’t received an invitation to attend. Zacchaeus confessed his sins. Perhaps the onlookers were fearful their own would be exposed, but Jesus showed only joy — no condemnation.
While we’ve been sheltering at home, away from parties, and dinners, and crowds, Jesus has continuously extended His invitation to spend time with Him. To have morning coffee with Him. To have dinner with Him. To just sit and chat. The very activity we all long for during this time. He’s listening to our confessions. He offers forgiveness and salvation. He’s so happy we choose to spend time with Him.
God’s given us a gift of time drawn away from the business and rush of activity. How much of it have you spent in His presence, getting to know Him better? As we approach the end of this time of stay-at-home orders, have you grown closer to Jesus — sitting and chatting with the Dearest Friend you have?
When you gather together with friends again, how will your gatherings look different because you have spent more time in the presence of Jesus?
For those who do not own a Bible, check out this amazing website: Bible Gateway You will find nearly all if not all English translations and several Spanish translations available on this website. All FREE!
All Scripture quotations are taken from the Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2009 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Holman Christian Standard Bible®, Holman CSB®, and HCSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
Copyright 2020, Lynn U. Watson