Over a year ago, I bought a very sweet book called Tea with the Queen for my daughter’s birthday. It is about a little girl who learns that she has been invited to have tea with the Queen. Throughout the book and amidst the little girl’s relentless excitement, her mother offers reminders about simple manners to consider when having tea with the Queen: be respectful and don’t shout, say “please” and “thank you,” refrain from speaking with a mouth full of food, and other tid bits of lady-like advice.
Put yourself in that little girl’s shoes. Could you imagine the honor of being asked to have tea with the Queen of Britain? But if she doesn’t seem all that interesting, how about meeting Prince William’s wife, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge? What thoughts might be playing in your head as you prepare to meet her? ‘I hope I don’t say something silly; I better sit up nice and tall; I hope I’m not under-dressed/over-dressed; I hope I don’t spill tea all over my blouse, I hope she likes me, etc…’
There was a tax-collector in the Bible by the name of Zacchaeus whose story is told in Luke 19. Apparently he was a very corrupt tax collector – a cheater even. But as soon as Zacchaeus saw Jesus walking down the street, his attitude clearly changed. When Zac learned that Jesus was on His way to his house, I can almost imagine Zac dusting the dirt off his clothes and quickly running his hands through his hair in order to give his best first impression. When they meet face to face, read what he says to Jesus: “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have overcharged people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!” (Luke 19:8 NLT).
“Judging from the crowd’s reaction to him, Zacchaeus must have been a very crooked tax collector. But after he met Jesus, he realized that his life needed straightening out. By giving to the poor and making restitution – with generous interest – those he had cheated, Zacchaeus demonstrated inner change by outward action. It is not enough to follow Jesus in your head or heart alone. You must show your faith by changed behavior. Has your faith resulted in action? What changes do you need to make?” My NLT Life Application Study Bible poses some valid questions.
“What changes do you need to make?” Think about your current Christian “manners.” How do you approach the King of the universe as you seek Him during worship on Sunday morning? How does the way you treat your parents, your spouse or colleagues, and even your neighbors reflect the degree of intimacy you have with Jesus? Pray for the Lord to gently reveal your habits so that when you meet Him face to face, He will find you blameless, without spot, and at peace with Him (2 Peter 3:14).
God bless you!