I was reading a children’s bible with my son earlier this week, and one simple paragraph spoke to me.
‘Come down, Zacchaeus!’ said Jesus.
‘Let me come to your house today!’
Zacchaeus was a short guy in a tree, but he was also someone who had spent his life oppressing others. “Come down!” said Jesus. Humble yourself.
The words spoke to me because of the hours, that had gone, before that peaceful moment together.
Our school age children had had a morning of one-upmanship. It had gone on, and on until I’d momentarily wished I wasn’t their mother, so that I could just walk away.
Do you have days like that? I find them really hard to push through.
That day when I read “Come down,” “Let me come to your house today!” I realised that although the kids were now happily at school, I hadn’t actually pushed through yet, I still wasn’t over it.
I was holding onto the anger of the morning, holding onto the unfairness, the rudeness, the insults and the meanness. I was holding it all inside, while I got on with the business at hand, too busy to let Jesus in to help.
And God with that gentle sentence, spoke to me, “Come down, Lauren! Let me come to your house today!”
Jesus will not come in unless we let him. He will not force his way through or barge down the door. He will wait till we let him in.
Come down in our hearts, come down in our words, come down from our business, come down in our opinions of ourselves, come down from the cave where we hide, come down from where we separate ourselves, come down from our ivory tower, come down from our conquering hilltop, and dare I say it, ‘Come down Lauren, off the cross!’ Sometimes as a parent I am tempted to crawl right up there and nail it all to myself, but it was finished 2000 years ago.
It is not a crushed and broken Jesus, but the risen Lord who says, Come down, it is finished! It is not a lowly homeless man who says, let me come to your house, it is He who has been given the highest place, the name above all names; who wants to come to our house today.
Come down, Zacchaeus!’ said Jesus.
‘Let me come to your house today!’
Jesus does not need our help. We need his.
Somewhere; between my prayer of complete abandon at 5am, and 9am, when I read and prayed with my 3yo, I had crawled up onto the cross, and was busy nailing too much to myself. I needed to come down, and let Jesus come to my house.
Am I the only one who does this? There is a war in my flesh. I am so thankful for Jesus who reminds me without judgement to come down, and let him in, so that he can help. 4 hours without checking in is too long for me. So much can happen in 4 hours at our place. In fact 4 hours is an eternity!
I reckon that here, on a bad day, without the armour of God on, it takes less than 30 seconds to be sensorily overwhelmed and disoriented. Add 30 more seconds, and you may just become dangerous. It is frenzied here at times. Over the last 12 years, and 5 kids, I have understood the bible battle analogies all too well.
It may look like a battle ground at times here, but Jesus does not need to get back up on the cross for all the new things my kids are doing everyday. All of my parental grief was nailed to his hands and feet 2000 years ago. All of it is finished.
And I don’t need to crawl onto that cross either. That is what Jesus was telling me – “Come down and let me come to your house today!”
So, what does Jesus at our houses look like? – Connected, joyful, secure, peaceful, strong, faithful, patient, purposeful, compassionate, generous, gentle, forgiving, self-disciplined, understanding, knowing, kind, merciful, good, encouraging, sharing, respectful and above all loving.
Jesus at our house, is not simply crying, “Victory!” with our broadswords aloft, as we stand on a pile of the fallen, amid fetid trenches, before limping off to tend our own still bleeding wounds, and shelter from the coming snow. No, He makes all things new, even if the sink is still overflowing, the floor cannot be seen, and the salt of tears lingers. The old is gone, the new has come.
Jesus can transform the scene immediately, we are healed, united, strengthened, sheltered, fed, watered, the air is clean and the way forward is clear. May I have the grace to come down, and let You come to our house continually, Lord.
May you too, my friends be encouraged to come down, to keep coming down. May you be blessed as you ‘let’ Jesus come, and may he stay. I am reminded of the lyrics from the Christmas carol, Away in a Manger, they are my prayer today.
Be near me Lord Jesus, I ask thee to stay,
Close by me forever and love me I pray.
Bless all the dear children in thy tender care.
And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.
Lots of love,
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