Thursday, January 19, 2012

Jesus is Coming and I’m Fixin’ to Get Ready for Him

Christmas is past now and the decorations have been put away. Our children have already grown tired of their new toys. Life goes on…until tomorrow. That’s right; life does go on, sometimes even without our realizing it.
In just two weeks we will enter the Triodion Period, a season of preparation for the Holy and Great Fast, and the Church brings us together to hear the story of Zacchaeus who “sought to see who Jesus was.” (Luke 19.3) This man, short and filled with sin, “ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.” (Luke 19.4) He wanted to experience for himself who Jesus was. We can presume from this story that he heard about Jesus because His Name was gaining great fame. But Zacchaeus also knew he had to be ready for Jesus, so he made plans.

The Triodion Period of the Church is a time when we can prepare for our Great Lenten Journey. But today we are looking ahead and asking what we need for that journey. Zacchaeus knew he needed to run ahead and climb up high to be ready.  If we want to see who Jesus is, we also need to get things ready. We need to check our calendars to make sure we have time to attend Church services and time set aside for personal prayer. We need to check our grocery list and pantry to make sure we have enough Lenten food to eat. We need to find our Bible and have it ready for the extra readings. (We might even want to start reading it now to get a head start…) If we want to see Jesus, we can’t wait until He arrives. Otherwise we will be filled with distractions and another Lenten season and Holy and Great Pascha will pass right on by without us.

Jesus honored Zacchaeus’ preparation and said, “Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.’ But when they saw it, the all complained.” (Luke 19.5,7) Jesus honored the work and preparation of Zacchaeus and He will honor our work and preparation. Some might complain about us, but we will hear the words of our Lord, “Today salvation has come to this house.” (Luke 19.9)

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