Zaccheus, up in a tree. This story so often has been equated with repentance, a turning around to see Jesus because Jesus saw him. David Lose, a commentator pointed out it depends on how you translate the verb. If you believe the verb is meant as a future action and not for the present, as it appears, then it falls its an act of repentance on Zaccheus' part. If it is in the present tense, he is already doing this, than what can this story tell us?
What about connections? Zaccheus climbs the tree in order to be seen, then Jesus invites him down to be invited to his house for dinner and in Zaccheus excitment he tells Jesus I do the stuff you preach about. I give to the poor. He's been paying attention to what Jesus has to say. I connect with you and your message, just because I'm short doesn't mean I don't hear.
Connections are important, no matter how much we try to say we can make it on our own, we really can't, we need connections. A recent TED talk I watched claimed it would blow away everything we've ever believed about addiction. The speaker said in a European country drug use had climbed to well above fifty percent, even with laws for a war on drugs. They decided since this was not working to try something different. Instead they help the user make connections with the community while they are receiving treatment. For the first time ever their drug problem dropped instead of rose. Connections, relationship with others. It is vitally important to our everday lives.
Just look at where we stand as a country right now. We are so divided about this election we are trying to sever connection. We are vilifying whatever side we are not on. If you don't beleive it just take a look at Facebook. I have seen posts about leaving Facebook until after the election, as thougb disconnecting can make a difference. I have seen a friend post a joke that turned into a post war on evil Democrats and when they explained it was a joke, people still ranted on. We distance ourselves from one another and God every time we do this. We loose sight of the other being a child of God too.
Our Presiding Bishop has called for prayer this election season and for us to vote. Don't become disconnected because others want us to vilify one another with simple stereotypes. Just because Zaccheus was short, was a tax collector for Rome didn't keep Jesus from speaking or dining with him. He notices his need to be noticed, to be connected with another human being. This is our great call as the church. Making someone the enemy is not what we are about, we should be about keeping and maintaining relationship. In spite of our views, in spite of our differences. Because in the end we are all God's children.
So let's dare to show God's love to one another. Let's go make a difference in this world of dualities. Let's make it known we are for one another and not for ourselves. Because by ourselves we are nothing, we were meant to be in relationship, with all of creation. Amen.