For those of you who had followed along...life has been crazy since my last post...we bought a house! Let's just say this blog and several other things got lost in the shuffle of the chaos. I'm glad this piece of life is back, though....I missed it.
For those of you who might have the paper copy of the devotional...this will contain that plus more. So, if you're up to it...stick around and use both as you can. If you're still reading this and you want a paper copy let me know...I'll mail you one!
My challenge for Lent is to find the joy. When we are deep enough in our relationship with God we are in a place of love, grace and joy. The little relationship slights that often sidetrack us and lead to needing forgviness just aren't. They just don't play in the game when we're in a place of joy. Joy can be a difficult place to find when chaos ensues, but when we center on our faith joy shows its beautiful self.
Our devotional begins with Zaccheus and his encounter with Jesus that produces a life changing joy.
He entered Jericho and was passing through it.2A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich.3He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature.4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way.5When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”6So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him.7All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.”8Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.”9Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.10For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.” Luke 19:1-10
Here’s Zaccheus...known in the community as a sinful person. He’s a tax collector. He’s not a person of good reputation and definitely not the kind of person most “good” people want to be associated with. He’s probably used to being rejected and scoffed at by most everyone! Jesus isn’t everyone.
Do you notice Zaccheus’ response to Jesus? When Jesus comes along and speaks to him and invites him down there is joy. There’s no fear...there is a joyful response of eagerness to be with Jesus. There is a life changing excitement for Zaccheus. He declares on the spot he will change...he will correct his mistakes...he will fix the broken relationships his sinfulness has caused.
This is what Jesus calls us to today. To a place of joy and excitement that makes us want to correct our broken relationships. During Lent this year we can do this. We can find the joy of reaching out to someone we have lost and seek reconciliation.
Welcome to the journey of Lent!