04 November 2007

Rich Men Don't Climb Trees - But Perhaps They Should

Luke 19:1-10

This story brings back memories for me. Memories of juice boxes, songs, and that one week of summer vacation of which I'm not bored. And of course, memories of climbing trees. Though the memories of climbing trees are only from last week.

Yes, I still climb trees. I am one of the few college students I know who will give up a Saturday evening to climb the magnolias on North Campus. I get weird looks. My friends most likely fancy me mad. And admittedly, it's not a very common thing to do. I have yet to see anyone over the age of twenty-five climb a tree (with the exception of scientists on the National Geographic channel doing research in the Amazon). Somehow, I get this sneaking feeling that adult who climbed a tree would instantly be knocked down a rung on the social ladder.

Tax collectors were not popular. A chief tax collector was probably hated. A short chief tax collector who climbed trees was probably lucky he didn't get stoned. It's just not something that's done.

In the movie Luther, Martin Luther (Joseph Fiennes - yes, Voldemort's brother) is delivering a lesson to children about the Prodigal Son. He says that the father's reaction is extraordinary - the wealthy old man runs to great his son. Rich men don't run. They don't hike up their clothes and dash across fields. And yet the old man runs to greet his son, the sinner. Similarly, Zaccheus, the sinner, runs to meet the Son, the Saviour.

Running and climbing trees. This short man must have looked more like a fool than ever. But it was well worth it. Zaccheus, having little public dignity left from his life as a tax collector, was willing to humiliate himself for the joy of laying his eyes upon the Christ.

Rock on.

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