Friday, January 04, 2008

Friday, January 4, 2008

Today's text

Matthew 2:9-12

Having listened to what the king had to say, they [wise men] set out. And suddenly the star they had seen rising went before and halted over the place where the child was. The sight of the star filled them with delight, and going into the house they saw the child with his mother Mary, and falling to their knees they did him homage. Then, opening their treasures they offered him gifts of gold and frankincense and myrrh. But they were given a warning in a dream not to go back to Herod, and returned to their own country by a different way.


It is in delight that we bow before your beauty, Holy Child. For there we find our soul, knowing ourselves for the first time.

Little wonder the wise men bubbled with delight. They traversed desert wastes and urban confusion, finally to arrive at the object of their search. They knelt in the dirt before you. And presenting their strange gifts, they found what we want, a heart that belongs to your mystery.

And the name of that mystery is Eternal Love and Undying Presence, Immortal Beauty and Eternal Wonder, Gracious Joy, Home.

Surely, it is not delight that brings us to you. It is our blessed neediness, our happy lack. A void happy only because it moves us across deserts and urban wastes, up dead end streets and down blind alleys searching for a soul, a heart found only as we kneel in delight before you.

So let us find you by whatever star seems to lead to place of your fullness. There we, too, will kneel in the dirt with delight, finding you … and our soul.

And returning home in way quite different.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Today's text

Matthew 2:3-5,7-8

When King Herod heard this he was perturbed, and so was the whole of Jerusalem. He called together all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, and enquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “At Bethlehem in Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote ….” Then Herod summoned the wise men to see him privately. He asked them the exact date on which the star had appeared and sent them on to Bethlehem with the words, “Go and find all about the child, and when you have found him, let me know, so that I too may go and do him homage.”


Did you believe him, wise men? Or were you truly wise, knowing that no king willingly does homage before another? Power and ego get in the way. Still. And not just for kings. Me, too.

I have no problem bowing before you, Holy Child. None. I find my place and irreplaceable blessing kneeling before the glory of your loving humility. But you ask that I become what you are and bow in service to those you give me.

Not just family, but all those others among whom I live and work and have my being. And there my knees grow stiff and my soul resistant. For there I encounter souls and attitudes and behaviors that sorely try me, exhausting both patience and respect.

And I realize something of Herod’s calcified soul resides also in me, giving rise to mistrust and defensiveness, judgmental anger and cussed stiff-neckedness.

So let me kneel again before the wonder of your divine humility, blessed Christ. The sight of you melts this stony heart, and you remake my soul in the beauty of your divine image, loving and humble, given to your purpose.

This is the homage you seek. It is also my freedom and joy. May it be mine today.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Today's text

Matthew 2:1-2

After Jesus had been born at Bethlehem in Judea during the reign of King Herod, suddenly some wise men came to Jerusalem from the east asking, “Where is the infant king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose and have come to do him homage.”


You come, wise men, to see the child, to hold him, to do homage. And what do you imagine that will do for you? What insight or illumination do you suppose will be yours?

Or do you expect nothing, seeking only to give your gifts and perform due deference to one whose kingship you likely will not live to see … and question?

No, you expect something. We all do. We expect to receive when we give. This is not selfish. It reflects our mutual neediness and dependence. I give and long for a smile, for mutual joy, for affirmation of the relationship that binds me with the one who receives.

A gift given in care and affection returns to us, or so we hope. And when it does, the world assumes an order where we know our place, a place of belonging.

And you, O wise men, what did you receive? You come to one you call ‘king,’ seeking to know and belong to this one, so far greater than you--and there to find your place. And to return home: knowing yourselves and the place for the first time.

This I seek, in this new year, to bear the gift of my life again and again to this Jesus, there to know myself and my place in the love that shines from the Holy Child through the corridors of all history.

Take me no where, my Lord, and grant me no success that would lead from this.

Pr. David L. Miller