It was still dark outside when I walked into the coffee shop to meet with a young man. While waiting for our orders to come up, I noticed a strangely dressed woman. She had on sequined bloomy pants and pointy flat shoes. The pants billowed out and were slit up the side exposing leg tights. She wore a matching sequined vest and big silver necklaces. A yoga instructor? Some sort of dance teacher? A person of Roma (formerly called Gypsy) background? My friend and I could not figure out her unique dress….until a little girl came in with her mother wearing wings taped to her back. Halloween! They were wearing Halloween costumes for work/school celebrations.
But it was too dark and too early for me to connect the dots. I was distracted and disoriented by Aladdin-genie garb so early on a Friday morning. I wish I could say it was the first time, but it’s not. I am often fooled by external appearances and rush to judgments about people based on incomplete information or just on observation.
The worship text for Sunday is a classic on how appearances can be deceiving. It’s the well-known story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:1-10. Everything about him makes him an unsuitable prospect for discipleship. On the surface there was little potential for him becoming a follower of Jesus. Yet, “salvation came to this house.”In a familiar story like this, we can easily fill in the blanks because we know it so well. I invite you to read this text at least three times before coming to church on Sunday