Connections that Count |March 05, 2021
19 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4 So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way. 5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
- While this story is very familiar, look at the text with fresh eyes. What do you notice? How is this text of Scripture an example of how to be present with others?
- In this text, why doesn’t Jesus just keep talking on the side of the road? Why do you think Jesus spends so much of his ministry around a meal?
- What are barriers keeping you from being fully present with others?
While incredibly busy, Jesus practiced a rhythm of presence. We are quickly becoming a culture of absence and partial attention. Think about practical habits or rhythms that might help you be fully present.
- Be present around the table- Share one meal with others each week. With Covid, we have grown accustom to avoidance. How can prioritize meeting safely with others? Weekly, consider sharing a meal outside with others (obviously with plenty of space).
- Give your phone/technology a timeout when present with others– Checking text messages or notifications disconnects you from being present.
- Get creative when “in-person” is not possible– While technology is no substitute for in person, do connect virtually. However, let yourself truly be present! Do not multitask. Give your undivided attention (I know this is tough on Zoom!).
Lord, thank you for your presence with me. Help me to daily be present with others. Guard me from patterns of indifference, avoidance, and self-absorption. Create opportunities for your presence to be present in the time I spend with others. By your Spirit, fill me anew with an awareness that you are with me and at work through me. Amen!
Listen Way Maker – Paul McClure