Hello everyone! I have had another full week at work, although I enjoyed having Friday at home with my beloved, as the Acorn Centre was closed for half term. I went in on Wednesday morning to try to catch up with the backlog at work, especially as our secretary was taking a couple of days off to be with her son on holiday, so I knew I would have letters to do on Thursday as well as my work. I did do some referral letters on Thursday as well as my work, but still managed to keep up to keep up with the scanning. I love my work and am very fortunate to be in such a job.
This week I was also preparing for a service today, as I did a swap with another preacher, who was going away this weekend, so I was busy most evenings after work preparing. I have to confess that I had not put a church meeting, which I was scheduled to attend, on my calendar and forgot all about it!! I felt rather bad when I realised, but will make sure that in future I have my calendar up to date with the meetings I am supposed to go to.
It was lovely to spend more time with my beloved on Friday and Saturday and today with the later start it has seemed like a holiday. I will most probably feel more tired tonight though! I led the service on the theme of acceptance leads to change. It focussed on the transformation in Zacchaeus’ life when Jesus saw him up the tree and called him down, as he was coming to his house that day. I could imagine how shocked and excited Zacchaeus would have been when Jesus did him the honour to coming to his house. He was aware of his outcast status as a hated tax collector serving the Romans who occupied their land, as he would take more than the required tax. The people all criticised Jesus’ action as Zacchaeus was a known sinner but, he now felt valued, accepted and loved by Jesus and knew he had to change his wrong way of life. He said that he would give half his goods to the poor and repay four times the amount he had cheated anyone of and Jesus said that salvation had that day come to that house. I brought in two briefcases for my children’s talk, one was old and shabby and the other new and practical; and then I enlisted the help of a child to see what was inside. In the lovely new briefcase were rotten apples, but important household papers and a wallet with money were in the shabbier briefcase. I explained that God does not judge as we do by what a person does or how he seems to be but by the heart. He saw the need and loneliness of Zaccheaus and reached out to him in welcoming acceptance and love. We judge more harshly than God does, who sees the needs of others. May we be gradually transformed, as Jesus’ love overwhelms us with his acceptance and love for us as we are, so we can share his unconditional love with a needy world. This is the day that the Lord has made and I rejoice and am glad in it.