That might seem like a small thing to do; but it is a brave thing to do.
That part of the story—the part that goes, “Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!”—is bananas.
You know that Easter is coming the same way that you know that a storm is coming: by the tension in the air.
One of the hard truths is that we need the hard truths. And one of the hard truths is that, far too often, we treat Jesus as a mascot.
It’s easy to make big promises when Jesus is standing right there. But Zacchaeus still needs to actually give half of his possessions to the poor and actually make restitution for his wrongs.
Maybe we imagine what happens after we die so that we can tell stories about how we should want to live.
I’d sooner gnaw my own fingers off, gouge my eyes out with a shellfish fork, and run naked down Seventh Avenue than ever betray that trust again.
But the truth… the deep down truth… the hard, difficult, arduous, burdensome, onerous, painful, troublesome, truth… is that we need Lent. Not just during the official season, but so much more often. We need it as individuals. We need it as a church. We need it as a society and a nation and a world.
The one who he expected to pass him by, for whatever ever reason, showed him mercy. And now that one is his neighbor… and the traveler has to love him.
It seems like he can't imagine a life that isn't governed by the accumulation of wealth. The world is sitting at his feet and he is... bored.