December 26th



It’s December 26, 2016. The gifts have all been opened much to our glee or – perhaps — our utter disappointment. Did you find the perfect gift under your tree this year?

I spent a good while musing yesterday – not so much over a gift as over a tree.

Not our tree — although perhaps I should spend more time musing over our tree. With each subsequent set of lights having gone out, it looks more like a barber pole than a proper Christmas tree.

But I digress.

It wasn’t our tree. It wasn’t the cross.

Believe it or not, it was another tree entirely.

Zacchaeus’ tree.

I know. Who thinks of Zacchaeus’ tree on Christmas? (Cue Rudolph and the Island of Misfit Toys: Believer’s Edition).

Zacchaeus, a despised, wealthy tax collector was, we’re told, small in stature – a condition that – in a crowd — precluded his clear line of sight.

Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus over the crowd.

Short peeps can relate.

Pause here for a moment – especially those of you who know how the story proceeds.

Zacchaeus could not see because something stood between himself and Jesus.

Yet, he must have had a great desire to see Jesus.

How do we know this?

Because when Zacchaeus couldn’t see Jesus, he RAN ahead of the crowds and CLIMBED a tree.

Now, let me ask you: who does this?

Or, to ask another way, when was the last time you ran anywhere and climbed anything to see anybody? Or anything?

What motivates a person to put forth that sort of effort?

It’s a question I hope all consider.

What – or who – holds your ultimate affection?

Now, to be clear, Zacchaeus didn’t earn Jesus by running and climbing. Rather, his running and climbing indicated something about the posture – or the inclination — of his heart.

If I was a speculating sort of gal, I would imagine – from what we know both about Zacchaeus and (ahem) human nature — that his inclination to see Jesus sprang from having already seen just about everything else.

Here was a guy who could likely buy, wrap, and place whatever he wanted under a tree. (Yes. I know they didn’t have Christmas trees back then. Just work with me.)

Yet, somehow, it all fell short. (Sorry.)

Zacchaeus, I speculate, had reached an end of sorts. He’d been there, done that.

ALL of that.

Still hungry. Still thirsty.

Enter Jesus.

And Zacchaeus didn’t merely catch a glimpse from afar. No. Jesus invited himself over to Zacchaeus’ house.

Zacchaeus’ response? He “received him joyfully.” (Luke 19:6)

The crowds were removed. Nothing — no one — stood between them.

Zacchaeus had a clear line of sight, and what he saw — whom he saw – was glorious.

So glorious, in fact, that everything paled in comparison.

You can have your ol’ fruitcake back. In fact, take half of what I own.

I received the perfect gift today.

Turns out, He’s all I ever wanted.

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