Monday, March 27, 2017

Monday, March 27, 2017

 Ephesians 5:8-9

For once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. 

Bright morning star

You are the bright morning star that wakes me once more and wipes the sleep from my eyes.

You wake my soul, and again I know the Light that shines every morning and through the day, lighting even the darkness night with the light of Love you are, always there, without fail, anew every morning.

And you say, ‘You are light, lit by the unfailing Love I am … alive in you.’

Lit from within, I see you in children’s smiles and hear your crystal voice in song that fills my heart and lifts me into the great knowing.

This is the knowing for which we each are born, a knowing that comes only when you flood the heart with the light of the Love you are.

Filled with Light and Love, we know ourselves as for the first time, created vessels intended to be lit from within by the fire only Love ignites. Created, we are, to live the Light that shines from our eyes as we know … You.

Pr. David L. Miller





Saturday, March 11, 2017

Saturday, March 11, 2017


Mark 8:34-37

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

Losing and finding

So much of our pain comes from trying to hold fast to the joys and loves we have received. Long ago … and many times …  I have thought and said that we should hold everything we have and are in open palms, not grasping tightly in fear of losing the goodness of what is.

Holding our lives and loves with open palms, we can see and celebrate the beauty and joy of what we have received. We can give thanks, always knowing the wonder of the gifts of love that fill our hearts.

When we grip too tightly we fan our fears of the future, our anxiety about not being in control of what will be, our sorrow that we can lose what most fills us.

With closed grip on what is, we cannot receive what will be—the joy, the beauty, the love, the challenge, the life that is yet to come and which we can never quite anticipate. For the Loving Mystery always has surprises we can never anticipate.

Releasing our grip on what we fear losing, holding what is with open hands and hearts, our anxiety subsides. We can live with thanks and gratitude, ready to receive whatever comes next, knowing that it comes from a Heart whose love staggers us and always will.

We need not cling to what is, for whatever comes, comes from the Love who fills us and always will.

Pr. David L. Miller


                                                                                                                   

Monday, March 06, 2017

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mark 8:34-37

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life?

Knowing Love is life

It is from the Great Love that we come and to the Great Love we go. In between these great unknowns, on the journey through our days, life that is truly is life, comes only as we know the Great Love, through whatever way this Holy One manages to find and fill our hearts.

Some speak of looking for God. I suppose there is truth in this. But experience shows that if we know the Great Love at all, it is this Loving Mystery who finds us, not the other way around.

This is how the great ones of the faith have described it through the centuries.

And once you are found, you know this Love goes on and on. You know you have been caught up in a stream which precedes your existence and will remain long after.

You taste that which the Scripture calls eternity, eternal life, moments in which you know this Love is … and that knowing and being and sharing this Love is all that really matters.

Everything else is, well, just everything else. 

Knowing the Love who is … is life, and when you are given the gift of knowing and tasting … even in moments that come and too quickly go … you know the Love who seeks us all, every day.

You know it is worth everything you've got ... and more.


Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Extraordinary Love

There is a Love which drives us beyond ourselves and what is expected to give more than we think we can …or should, more than any think reasonable.

This Love has a name, the name of the Crucified One, who is the face of The Loving Mystery no time has ever understood.

Who can understand Love that does not quail in the face of brutal suffering, a Love that never ceases to offer its enemies what they most need? And who needs this Love more than those who resist and reject its embrace?

The Christian faith does not call for reasonable action and attitudes. It always calls us to More, to know and be the More, to live the More that Christ is … and is in us.

That we should love our friends, our families and those who treat us well—this is expected. Reasonable.

Our hearts do not recoil from this. This is only just. But Christ calls us beyond what is just and right, beyond normal, beyond what every right-thinking person knows is good.

We are called by an unreasonable Love to live this Love—this Extraordinary Love—not in heroic moments but as our normal posture and orientation toward all we encounter.

Our failures to love are our friend as we journey into the Love Christ is. They daily remind us that our egos must die to our insistence that life must always make sense, that people must be fair. We must surrender the rage that boils at criticism and disrespect, however unfair they may be.

This is all beyond us, of course. No one can do it. Maybe the martyrs or those of remarkable spirit and piety. Unless: Unless we know this Extraordinary Love and live in its embrace every moment of our breathing.

Only then … in knowing … are we free from ego’s insistent demands. And Christ breathes the air of his Extraordinary Love through our lives. Even there.

Pr. David L. Miller


Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Matthew 5:43-48

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Love’s surrender

The world is not fair nor is God. The sun warms the just and unjust alike. God makes no distinction.

Christians and those of faith are not spared disease or misfortune because they believe in Christ. God makes no such promise. They are as likely to have bad things happen to them as the rankest atheist.

This undermines the faith of too many who wonder why bad things happen to good people. They have misunderstood the nature of the Loving Mystery God is.

God is love. Love is not something God does, but who God is. It is God’s nature to love, to give the goodness of life and grace to all and everything, to everyone and in every moment.

God is a fountain of outpouring love, embracing the shoulders of everyone with the warmth of the sun and giving life-giving rain to the fields of those who acknowledge divine presence and those who think God a fiction.

If I understand anything of God, joy accompanies this outpouring. God delights to give the goodness of life and love. God eagerly gives. God may be compared to a person of joyful heart who meets each day with a smile, with open hand ready to share every blessing he or she has.

We know God in such moments of open-hearted giving. We enter the stream of mercy and joy that flows constantly from the divine heart. God is better understood as a verb than a noun, for God is movement, a stream of unending love constantly flowing through time and space.

Jesus’ command to love is not a command at all, but an invitation to enter the surrender your heart to this flow that seeks you anew every morning. Let yourself go. Let the warmth of this Love wash over you, melt your sadness and dissolve your resentments.

Just be and know this Love. Allow the Loving Mystery to awaken the joyful desire to smile on every face you see and bless every moment with your presence. This, of course, is not your presence at all, but the Presence of a Love beyond every imagination.

Pr. David L. Miller









Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January 30, 2017

Matthew 5:13-16

“You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
To be what we are

For nearly 20 years I was privileged to write for and edit a magazine that covered the church and its work around the world. My proudest and most fulfilling memories of those days involved reporting from places of acute human struggle and suffering.

I told stories of people our readers had no other way of knowing or caring about. And how they cared! Their generosity moved me again and again. I say with no sense of pride that there are people who lived, who received food and shelter from war, terror and starvation, because my colleagues and I told their stories and captured their struggles in photos that shook people from apathy into action.

The faces I met in those days have been appearing more often in my mind’s eye, as I fear our nation … and our churches … could become much less empathetic, generous and welcoming.

I see them: refugee mothers nursing children on cold mountainsides in Macedonia, war-orphaned children in make-shift orphanages in Africa, parents bearing everything they can carry on their backs fleeing those bent on killing and maiming them in the name of some deplorable political, racial or religious ideology.

And I see shallow graves where people hastily buried their beloved along the road … then hurried on to avoid the same fate.

The faces speak to me as did the photos I once took for magazine pages.

I also hear Jesus words: Be what you are. Be the soul I have made you to be. You are salt and light, so shine and season this world with the light of the love I have lit within you.

In this time when it is easy to let anxiety or anger rule our hearts, we can turn from the world, immersing ourselves in private concerns and personal comforts. Or we can be who we are. Salt and light.

Theologian Walter Brueggemann has often prodded the church to an alternative way marked by practices such as hospitality to those unlike us, generosity to those in need and forgiveness to break cycles of resentment and vengeance. Our world, our nation and our communities have seldom needed them more.

The choice is always ours. Today, the faces of the suffering, the hungry and the refugee … like Jesus … are calling us to be ourselves … and to know the joy of Christ’s love pouring through us.


Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

John 1:32-34

And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, “He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.” And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.’

The joy of oneness

The experience of the Holy Spirit is that of oneness with God. There is an internal sense of unity with the great and overpowering Love God is, evaporating sadness and flooding the soul with peace and joy that may even be accompanied by laughter.

John refers to Jesus as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. John says Jesus baptizes us, immerses us, with the Holy Spirit.

We are given the same Spirit that fills Jesus, and when we experience the Spirit we are graced to know the unity with the Loving Mystery in which he constantly lived.

Our experience of this exquisite blessing is not constant. It may last moments, minutes, hours or even days for some on rare occasions.

In these moments, we truly know Christ and are empowered to love as he loved, feeling the freedom of being completely one with the Love God is. We need nothing, for in this Love we have all we need, all we have ever wanted.

Sin, guilt, shame, fear are gone, replaced by joy. The Spirit, the Love God is, floods our spirit. 
Although we are distinct, there is no distance between God and out soul. In this awareness, guilt or shame over our wrongs and failures, small or great, disappear.

They are gone, and we are free to live, knowing the truth of the Love who is.

Moments of intense oneness fade amid the necessary routines of living. When they fade or distress comes remember the experience of the Spirit. It tells you who God is, who you who truly are and the joy God intends.

Pr. David L. Miller