Friday, November 02, 2007

Pentecost +23 Sunday – C4

Pentecost +23 Sunday – C4

Years C
Luke 19:1-10

Ambiguous places often help us define what is important. In this passage there are two major ambiguities. First is a question of who is short of stature. To think about the reference being to Jesus or to Zacchaeus begins to let us see this story again - outside the confines of the little ditty about "a wee little man." We who are so used to imaging a tall, Nordic Jesus who portrays calm wisdom and strength that can externalized need to be able to see Jesus in everyone we meet, even the shortest and youngest.

Second is a question of giving. The passage can be read regarding resources Zacchaeus will give as a response to Jesus' visit in his life. It can also be read as giving that Zacchaeus is already doing. In the first instance this is a story about personal salvation/health and response to it. In the second it is a story about the crowd, their prejudice and the need for inclusion/health on a community level.

Even when the language seems unambiguous it is alright to squint at it a bit and come at it sideways. If you think Jesus or any saint is literalistic in their stories or their lives, you have a second think coming at some point. Even the most straight-forward of sentences or phrases can jump up to be as transforming as the catching of an eye (I) between a short guy in the middle of a crowd and short guy up a tree without a ladder. It is shocking what little things as an ambiguity can do with us, for us, to us.

= = = = = = =

Jesus is coming
asking to stay at your house today
he was just going to pass on through
but here he is
delaying his travel
to come to your house

ready or not
Jesus is coming
in an unanticipated moment
here he is
investing in you
coming to your house

going forth
Jesus travels on
I journey on
now both of us
are inviting ourselves
to your house

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