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Stories

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

Posted by Tom Lund on

When Jesus reached the spot,
he looked up and said to him,
“Zacchaeus, come down immediately.
I must stay at your house today.”
So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly. 
All the people saw this and began to mutter,
“He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”

– Luke 19:5-7.

I recently received the obituary of a high school classmate, David, who had played drums in our school band. It said that he and some friends had formed a band that continued to perform for many years. A couple others in David’s band were also classmates.  I thought, “Why didn’t I know about the band?” I quickly realized that, even though my class was small, I did not really know many of them. We took different classes and participated in different activities. Even if I was in music classes or sports with them, we never associated outside of school. I didn’t even know where most of them lived. And then I realized that not much has changed. The people I know now are still a lot like me.

Unlike me, Jesus intentionally sought out people who were not part of his “social circle.”  He met, talked, and dined with social outcasts (like lepers and adulterers), tax collectors (often hated because many cheated people), and even Roman soldiers (hated for occupying Israel).  He went to their homes and treated them kindly as friends.  When they asked for his help, he gave it gladly.  He did not let the judgment of the crowd deter him from his mission.  Is there a lesson there for me?  How much richer would my life be if my social circle were expanded?  Do I have the courage to break down at least some of the barriers I have built?  

 

Prayer 

Lord, I find it so hard to follow you even when I see clearly where I am supposed to go.  I am not strong enough to do it on my own.  I need your help.  I ask you to take my hand and lead me out of my comfort zone into your greater world.