Proper 26 (31)
Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4 or Isaiah 1:10-18
Psalm 119:137-144 or Psalm 32:1-7
2 Thess. 1:1-4, 11-12
Our gracious, eternal God, we thank you for the scriptures which bring us stark reminders that illumine our human situation. Today we are reminded of one Zaccheus and his powerful need to be received, to be loved, to be accepted, to be blessed, and to be forgiven. He reflects one of the deepest needs of humankind and our longings are the same as his were that day when he longed to see Jesus.
We are also reminded that we are like the crowd that day and the host of judgmental, rejecting, self-righteous people who could not bear to behold such grace and acceptance. All they could do was complain and grumble about the company Jesus was keeping that day. We confess that we are not unlike them.
• How often we feel that the wayward ought to get what they deserve.
• How often we feel people need to watch the company they keep.
• How often we feel the religious folk ought always to act religious.
• How often we feel the sinner has no right to be a part of us.
• How often with our condemning, self-righteous attitudes we place limits upon your love and grace.
In such times help us to climb above the prejudices we hold. In such times remind us that we are all children of Abraham. In such times help us to see the transforming Jesus who receives, loves, accepts, blesses, and forgives the worst of sinners and makes room for all of us in his company. Help us to see that he would come to dwell with each of us. Help us to make room for him and also for all of your children. Amen