Thursday, August 28, 2008

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Today’s text

Matthew 16:24-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. What, then, will anyone gain by winning the whole world and forfeiting his life? Or what can anyone offer in exchange for his life?’


What is real? What is not? We have it confused, entirely turned about. We think the real is the person we are, the position we possess, the reputation we have assembled, the identity we have crafted, the successes we have achieved, the possessions we have gathered. And we rightly care for all these things. We need them.

But all these things are temporary, ephemeral forms that will pass away. Health, too, is too soon lost; appearance fades with our hard won reputations at work, school and business. All this is passing, though we treat them as the most real things in our lives.

But the real is the solid, the enduring, that which time and fate can’t take away, that which does not corrode or rust. The real is the eternal.

The things that occupy most of our lives are passing forms, not lasting reality. We seek our lives, our meaning, our security, our assurance of heart in those things certain to fail us.

But life is in one truth alone--the enduring and unfailing, the immeasurable mercy we feel in the presence of unfailing love. We awake each morning because the One who is life is delighted to share the mysterious substance of that life is with us.

This is eternity’s act of unsought generosity. Life is given. We feel it in our bones and blood. We are aware that we are--and that we are here, alive. We are here because of realities over which we have no control, about which we made no decision. We are gifted with life, the life of Life’s Source, eternal and abundant. It throbs through our arteries. It fills us with joy and exaltation in moments of gratitude when we feel most vital and alive.

This is awareness of the real. It yields a flood of gratitude and joy. Sit in this awareness a moment and one knows: we bear something true, lasting and eternal, something that is not merely a passing form.

Jesus invites us to look beyond the passing forms we confuse with real life and see the love and mercy freely flowing from his hands and heart. It is evident in his words and acts of healing mercy.

‘Know this,’ he says. ‘This love is the real, the true, the eternal. It is the Infinite Source from which you come. You will find out who you are only here, seeing and receiving, sharing and playing in this grace. You will find eternity here. Everything else passes away, but not this.’

Pr. David L. Miller

No comments: