Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Today’s text

Matthew 22:15-22

Then the Pharisees went away to work out between them how to trap him in what he said. And they sent their disciples to him, together with some Herodians, to say, 'Master, we know that you are an honest man and teach the way of God in all honesty, and that you are not afraid of anyone, because human rank means nothing to you. Give us your opinion, then. Is it permissible to pay taxes to Caesar or not?' But Jesus was aware of their malice and replied, 'You hypocrites! Why are you putting me to the test? Show me the money you pay the tax with.' They handed him a denarius, and he said, 'Whose portrait is this? Whose title?' They replied, 'Caesar's.' Then he said to them, 'Very well, pay Caesar what belongs to Caesar -- and God what belongs to God.'


Your question is so obvious this morning, dearest Friend--and so personal. To whom do I belong? To whom or what is my heart given?

Am I given to you?

I should be, for I am yours. I have loved you since before I much knew you. And you have loved me since before my creation. You were present then, making me in the image of your wisdom and purpose, your joy and desire. And my joy is found only in giving myself to the purpose and desire you formed in this soul that is me.

Yet, I have been holding myself back. My heart is not ready to be fully given to your purpose, your way. It resists surrendering to love as you love, to risk as you risk, fully engaging the souls around me.

I think it is fear that holds me back, although I feel no dread and little anxiety in these days. But I know that loving makes one vulnerable, and in these days I crave safety. (But I always have). So, I wall off parts of my heart, sharing them rarely and only with just a few, or one.

It is easier to stand back and look at things from a distance, disconnected from what is really happening.

It’s a reflex. Human, certainly. And it reflects recent years of feeling abused and misunderstood.

But my awareness of the state of my soul also reveals discontent. I do not have the joy I crave. I want more, that more that I can have only by loving and giving, surrendering my heart even where it resists.

Give to God what belongs to God, you say. I haven’t been. But I know that I need to. My soul’s satisfaction is found in no other way but this surrender.

So today, dearest Friend, let me give my whole heart to the souls and tasks you have placed in my care.

Pr. David L. Miller

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