Friday, April 06, 2007

Friday, April 6, 2007

Today’s text

1 John 3:8

“Everyone who commits sin is a child of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The Son of God was revealed to destroy the works of the devil.”


I have touched the place said to be the site of your execution, dearest Jesus. I have run my hands across the cool, gray stone on which ancient traditions say your friends placed you. My hands rested there and my tears fell, like all those who came before and who will yet appear.

Perhaps this is the spot where they laid your tortured body to rest. I do not know. But I do know the broken, shot, starved, emaciated bodies of human souls laid to rest or left to rot in road ditches in war zones on the far outposts of humanity. I think of these, too, as I think of your death on this Good Friday.

None of those deaths, none of the bodies bore any appearance of victory or triumph over forces of evil and destruction. Each cried voicelessly into the infinite silence, beseeching the heavens for an answer. Each joined earth’s ancient chorus, pleading for a mercy that can heal the sorrow and redeem the suffering.

You, blessed Jesus, fondest desire of my heart, are the answer to our ancient pleading. You are the mercy that heals the world’s wounds and redeems forgotten deaths of countless multitudes.

Your death destroys the works of the devil. You refused to repay evil for evil, hatred with more of the same. You reveal the eternal mercy that bubbles from the infinite spring of the heart of God. In you, we see the Immeasurable Mercy who holds every life, in every age, every soul, no matter how seemingly bereft or forgotten. In your suffering sorrow, I know the keeper of the sparrow to whom no suffering or death is lost or forgotten.

Your mercy destroys the ancient hatreds and fears of our heart. Bathe us in your mercy, suffering Jesus. You are our hope. Amen.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Today’s text

1 John 3:7

“Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.”


You are righteous. That is our hope and comfort. So often the word is a threat. Erring souls turn your righteousness into a weapon to beat others into conformity, flaying them for sin and frailty, for being human and weak and needy.

Surely, this makes you weep, even as you, my brother, wept over Jerusalem and in the Garden of Gethsemane. You wept in pain and sorrow for the fallen flower of humanity, for us and the mess we make of things, for the way we use your truth to enslave rather than free.

But you are righteous, and that is our hope. You keep the promise of God to love and to love us to the end. You, blessed Jesus, suffering Jesus, dieing Jesus: you are God’s ‘Yes!’ to all of us who must shout down the “No!” of condemnation and denunciation from accusing voices that haunt the dark corridors of minds.

We can never keep the voices away for long. So we rest in your righteousness. For you are God’s “Yes” … to me. Your righteousness is no weapon but is the gift of fulfilled promise that your love abides, and abides with and for and in us—and ever will.

That is our hope, resting in the suffering love in which you reveal the righteous love of God that never turns or fails. On this holiest of weeks, grant us this assurance. Amen.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Today’s text

1 John 3:4-6

“Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him.”


I know the pain of sin, Holy One, as do you. When sin does not separate there is no space between us, no here and there, no me and you. I rest in you who are not near but here, around, about, within--the all-enveloping wonder with whom I share a seamless intimacy in which there is no separation between my mortality and your eternity.

We are one, and I am certain beyond all doubt that your love holds me fast in this and every age. Assurance fills my heart; joy bubbles over, a flowing stream of life, love and confidence. The idea of turning from you, of seeking life anywhere but in you, is unthinkable, the foulest delusion.

But blessed intimacy shatters like glass when I turn from the constancy of your love to the shifting fears of my fretful soul. Ancient anxieties that I know far too well seize my mind, and I lose the exquisite intimacy of your abiding.

I refuse the invitation of love you write in the inscape of every circumstance and alienate myself from others, avoiding them in fear, boarding up my heart, no longer trusting that communal sharing you seek to work among us.

Sin separates, so that I no longer abide in you but in the disquiet of my mind where fears cloud my vision until I can see nothing else.

But you do not leave me to the lawless disorder of my heart. You come again and again, inviting me to abide in that incandescent love that evaporates my anxiety, restores our union and opens my eyes to see you and to know: my sin is not nearly sufficient to steal me from your love.

Open our eyes to see and know you in this holy time of your self-giving, blessed Jesus. Take away the sin that weights our souls and shatters our joy that we may abide in you, trusting all your love has done and will do for us from this time and forever. Amen.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, April 02, 2007

Monday, April 2, 2007

Today’s text

1 John 3:2-3

“Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”


This week we surely will see you, my brother. We will see you as darkness gathers and threatens your life, blessed Jesus. We will see your friends betray and deny you, running from your face in shame and fear.

We will see the powerful denounce and condemn you. We will see you beaten bloody by whips wielded by the rude and malicious. We will see you fall beneath the weight of your burden and beg the Holy Mystery to be delivered from the torture that will wring the final breath of life from your lungs.

We will see you touch and bless your beloved friends, washing their feet and giving yourself to them in a meal of exquisite intimacy and tenderness. We will see you love them to the end. And we will see that you live, and the life that you are cannot be confined to a tomb.

We will see you. And we will know that your love, which knows no boundaries, is transparent to the impenetrable heart of the Eternal Wonder. We will see you, and seeing you we will gaze into the dark mysteries of eternity, there to discover that it is illimitable love from which you came, to which you go and to whom we belong in life and death.

We will see you. Can it be that in seeing we will become like you, sharing the beauty of your face, bearing the belovedness of your heart, alive with the tenderness of your mercy, breathing the gentle air of eternal generosity?

As we see you, so we become and are. Grant us the faith that sees you that your beauty may live in our faces. Such is your desire. May it be, here and now. Amen.

Pr. David L. Miller