You probably know this song:Zacchaeus was a wee little man, Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he. He climbed way up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see. And when the Savior passed that way, he looked up in the tree And said “Zacchaeus! Come down out of that tree, For I’m coming to your house today. Do you know the next verse? Zacchaeus was a very rich man. He collected taxes owed And then a whole bunch more. When Jesus sat as his table that day, he said, “Jesus, I give half of what I have to the poor. Where there is fraud, four times I will restore.” You don’t know that verse because it hasn’t been written. That’s regrettable.  Because the story of Zacchaeus – the full story of Zacchaeus – does something the gospels rarely do.  It takes us past a personal encounter with Jesus and shows us how life was changed – radically altered – by that encounter. Zacchaeus must be experiencing both shame and guilt.  Shame as he was disowned by his own community and guilt for his participation in an unjust system. That’s a toxic combination – shame and guilt – that can wear away at one’s very sense of self.  In fact, the Greek that is so charmingly translated as “wee” actually says diminished. Zacchaeus was a diminished man, perhaps not short physically, but worn down by carrying the weight of exclusion and collusion. In Luke’s gospel, Jesus has repeatedly called in those who are alienated from community and called out the rich,...
BOGO generosity #40acts blog

BOGO generosity #40acts blog

Did you know that you can really get something for nothing and then give it away?  What a wonderful idea!  Have you ever checked out the many rebates and freebies available? ACT 2:1 involves getting something for nothing and sharing it.  You know the Buy-One-Get-One (BOGO) or “FREE ITEM” promotions that stores often have.  We have a friend in our exercise class who always downloads the weekly coupon for a free item from Kroger.  She then brings it to the church where our class meets and drops it off in the food pantry box. I got involved in the rebate program at Menards.  After a friend told me about how her father always had bags of goodies for the kids at Christmas,  I decided to take advantage of the wonderful deals available at our local Menards store. It works like priming a pump.  First, you buy an item (or several), then send in the rebate forms.  You receive a rebate check good only at Menards, then use the check to buy more rebate qualifying items. Using the Menards rebate plan, I buy items like paint brushes or cleaning cloths or drill bits that have rebates, send in the rebate forms, and then use the rebate $$ to buy more items that have rebates.  Sometimes I get 100% back, other times only 60% – 70%. I haven’t been doing this very long, but I already have a fairly large stock of stuff I plan to give away.  There are tools and paint brushes and gloves and “whatever.” Using another rebate plan, I have taken advantage of office supply store rebates to...