"Only" the 8am service to preach for this week - so here's the notes...
Luke 19: 1-10
‘The son of man came to seek and to save what is lost.’ Not ‘who is lost’ but what is lost. Yes, Jesus had come to save Zaccheus, but it wasn’t that Zaccheus was thoroughly bad and lost whilst everyone else around was thoroughly good and OK. Jesus has come to save what is lost – the bits of Zaccheus that had gone astray. And Jesus had also come to save the lost compassion of the crowd around Zaccheus, to show them that this man wasn’t beyond redemption, and that maybe they needed to be ready to love the sinner amongst them. Jesus comes to save what is lost, and this is good news for us – there are bits of our lives where we feel lost, things we know we have got wrong - and Jesus has come to set things right.
That’s the saving bit – putting right what is wrong, bringing hope where there is hurting. But Jesus also says he comes to seek – to look deeply where other have only glanced and dismissed. Everyone knows Zaccheus is a bad ‘un – a tax-collector & a nasty piece of work ; but only Jesus sees the Zaccheus who can turn his life around, pay back four times what he has defrauded & become a loved member of society and a follower of Jesus.
Being God’s faithful people and followers of Jesus involves being ready to be saved by the love of God, but it also means seeing things differently. Jesus comes to seek and save what is lost and one of those things which is lost may be our ability to see what is of God in the world. Can we join with Jesus is seeing differently - in seeking and saving?
We meet here to share bread and wine. What do we see? Not just simple elements – but a share in a heavenly banquet – a gift from God – the gift of a sharing in the life and death and resurrection of Christ. Christ comes to us in this bread and wine to seek us and to save us. So we can be strengthened to follow Jesus – to share in the seeking and saving of all that is lost – in us, in our neighbours, in the whole world.
To God’s praise & glory