In the gospel for today we read of a meeting between Zacchaeus, the tax collector, and Jesus.
When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. (Luke 19- 5-6)
What a wonderful opportunity for Zacchaeus – what an affirmation – that the Son of God had such a strong imperative to be with Zacchaeus. “I must stay at your house” Jesus said. Of all of the people milling around him, Jesus felt he “must” spend time with Zacchaeus! What an incredible privilege! Zacchaeus acted immediately – eager to share time with Jesus. What about you?
Life and the demands of the world are so time consuming that sometimes we may not even hear Jesus invitation to come down from wherever our busyness has taken us – and sadly we forget to be on the lookout for Jesus and miss a possible glimpse of His everyday miracles.
I love to come into the presence of God and spend quality time there. It’s pretty much like setting aside time to have coffee/tea with a friend. Or preparing for a phone call with someone we love. It’s important to set aside time and space away from interruptions… to give our whole attention to the one we am visiting with.
In private prayer, I am not one to use a lot of words. Sometimes I come to God with specific needs, or the prayer requests of parishioners, family and friends but otherwise, I am happy to sit in silence, just waiting on God.
I, personally need times of silence, listening for the footsteps of our Lord – to feel refreshed and energized, which is why, sometimes you will see me sitting quietly before a service. In silence I find the peace of God. I know that there are others in our congregations who have the same need.
On the other hand, I find great joy in our shared worship and being a part of the Body of Christ. There are many who thrive within the noise, and busyness of community, which feeds and nourishes. We are all different. Together we can know the presence of God in sharing of our concerns, sometimes in tears, in shared wisdom, love, encouragement and joy.
Jesus longs for each of us to open our hearts that He might enter in.