Thursday, October 27, 2016

Eager Zaachaeus

Luke 19:1-10
He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When 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." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." Zacchaeus 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." Then Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost."
am I as eager as Zacchaeus was?
I'm amazed
at the effort he invests to just see you.
He runs ahead;
he climbs a tree;
he waits and watches for you;
and when he finally does get a glimpse of you,
when you invite him to get more than a glimpse,
He hurries down and is happy to welcome you!

When you call me down from the tree,
when you invite me to get more than just a glimpse,
when you engage me deeper,
when you connect with my life
--the good, the bad, and the ugly --
am I eager?
Am I happy to welcome you?

Or am I like the crowd
who begins to grumble and complain?
They point out all of the flaws,
all of the ways this could go wrong,

Am I willing to be transformed 
by the power of presence of Christ in my life?
Will you move me from being in the grumbling crowd
to being a grateful Zacchaeus
who is moved to generosity?

I hope so.
Make me, all of me, eager
to go deeper 
than just a glimpse of you!
Move me to generous gratitude.

Monday, October 24, 2016

New Beginnings

I have just begun
something new with your leading.

Your voice had been clear before
through the voices of colleagues,
the voices of the Nominating Committee,
the collective voice of the members
of Westminster Presbyterian Church,
and the voice of the members of Trinity Presbytery.

But on my first Sunday preaching
your voice was LOUD and CLEAR...
Lord, during worship I heard you say,
"You are where I want you to be!"

Thank you, Lord, for bringing me here.
I miss my friends in North Carolina,
especially as they recover from the flood waters.
And yet, as I watch the ways
you are bringing them together
to be bold witnesses of your love,
again your voice is LOUD and CLEAR...
Lord, you say, "These are MY people.
I will continue to use them for my glory."

I am glad you saw fit for me to be with them for a time.
Now guide me as I lead another congregation
seeking to know you and follow you wherever you lead!

Sunday, October 23 was my first Sunday preaching as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Columbia, South Carolina.