It is a terrible feeling to be lost in a crowd. When we are separated from the familiarity of those we were with we feel anxious and afraid. We wonder where they are and if they are alright. In the Gospel, a short man named Zacchaeus was lost in a crowd (Luke 19:1-10). There were many people who were lining the street to see Jesus. Because he was so short, everyone was blocking his view and he could not see anything.
Zacchaeus was not only lost in the crowd that day. He was lost in general. He was lost in his sins. As was the practice of the tax collectors of his day, he was most likely overcharging the people and keeping the surplus for himself. He was probably lost in confusion, fear and a life devoid of meaning, which is why he came to the town that day to catch a glimpse of Jesus. Although he came to the town as a man lost in the crowd, Zacchaeus, decided he was through with being lost. At the risk of being greatly embarrassed, this grown man decided to climb a tree so that he could see Jesus. He risked everything so he could do the most important thing he would ever do in his life. He allowed himself to be found by Jesus. Once found, his life was changed. He promised to go back into the world caring for the poor and paying anyone he may have cheated four times what he owed them.
We know what it is like to be lost in sin, fear, anger or disappointment. We know what it is like to feel small in a crowd, to feel like our lives do not really matter. It might be time for us to climb the tree of admitting where we are lost and let the Lord touch us with his healing love. Once found, like Zacchaeus, we are sent back into the world to bring the love and blessings of Jesus to others, especially those who are lost.
These past weeks of our parish’s stewardship renewal have reminded us that we are blessed, chosen and sent. In the week ahead, may we prayerfully discern what we will pledge next Sunday to support Christ Cathedral Parish and our efforts to bring the love and blessings of Jesus to each other and to the world.
Together in faith,
Fr. Christopher Smith, Rector