Stepping up to the Plate

24th Sunday in Pentecost
Scripture: St. Luke 19:1-10

Little did I know how true that would be a month after I wrote this message… The Cubs stepping up to the plate and after 70 years winning the pennant!

As we look at the story of Zacchaeus once again, I want you to see him stepping up to the plate. He wanted to see this traveling prophet, but was a small man, with a small body thus he climbed up into a sycamore tree. He paid no attention to the crowd who tried to quiet him down, saying “you are a sinner, He will have nothing to do with you”As Jesus walked by, he looked up in that sycamore tree telling Zacchaeus “you come down, for I’m going to your house today”.

I can see that little man almost jumping off the tree limb, and coming to rest at Jesus’ feet. Can you?
He stated if I have cheated anyone, I will repay them 4 times what I stole from them.That is one more time than the Jewish law commanded a person to do to make amends. Jesus tells him, “today salvation has come to you and your house and you are truly a son of Abraham”.

How often have you or I been sitting in a pew and we blindly step up to the plate after the spirit of god moved within our lives and we get involved with something special at his prompting?

It’s like a little 4 year old standing at the shore of water in the gulf, seeing the water coming in, fearful of the waves, and we are afraid to get in the water. After much coaxing, the child gets their toes in the water. Each time the waves come in, she puts her foot in a little deeper in the water. After a few minutes, she is knee high in the water, running to and fro playing and having fun.

Because of the fear of the unknown, we all have doubts and reservations in our discipleship duties to the Lord and his church. We fail to trust Him.

We are like the servant whose master gave him one talent to make more, and he was afraid he might lose it, thus he buried it in the ground. When the master confronted him with what he had done, he said “I know you are a hard man in business and I was afraid of what might happen if I lost your talent.”
How often are we like the 4 year old afraid of the water or the unproductive servant burying the talent?

Andrew seeing Jesus the prophet stepped up to the plate, calling Peter to come and see the prophet. Peter stepped up and became a mighty, mighty voice for Christ. He was a man with many faults and yet Jesus said “you are the rock and I will build my church on you.”

Dr. Billy Graham was a plain, simple man, full of faith. He stepped up to the plate and has become a great missionary encouraging thousand all because he was not afraid to step up to the plate.
If each one of us would step up to the plate, allowing the Lord to use our humble efforts, can you envision what might happen in our world today, a world that is crying for love? Regardless of the simple gifts most of us think we have, when we step up to the plate, allowing the Lord to use us, we will have blessings in abundance and his promise He will walk each step with us.

Lord, help each one of us make new disciples in your precious name and divine love.

Let us pray.