UP A TREE

Zacchaeus, he did climb a tree,
The Master, Jesus, for to see,
For like the others of his clan,
Zacchaeus was a shortish man.

But Jesus saw him on the bough
And said, "Zachaeus, come down now,
And hurry to your home – don't rest,
For soon you'll have me as your guest."

The watching crowd said, "What is this?
Oh, surely something is amiss!
Zacchaeus is an awful sinner,
And Jesus sits with him at dinner!"

In sorrow, then, Zacchaeus stood
And said, "Look, Lord, full half my goods
And income I do give away
To feed and clothe the poor today.

"And if by cheating or mistake
I've taken more than I should take,
Then he who lost will get back more:
I'll pay him back his loss, times four!"

Then Jesus spoke and said, "This day,
My friend, salvation comes your way.
For you, Zacchaeus, as I am,
Are too a son of Abraham.

"And now the Son of man is come
To show the Way to everyone;
To heal; to guide the tempest-tossed;
To seek and save that which was lost.

Beth Robinson
1985

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