Friday, March 07, 2008

Friday, March 7, 2008

Today's text

John 11:38-46

Sighing again, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, 'Take the stone away.' Martha, the dead man's sister, said to him, 'Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day since he died.' Jesus replied, 'Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?' So they took the stone away. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said: Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer. I myself knew that you hear me always, but I speak for the sake of all these who are standing around me, so that they may believe it was you who sent me. When he had said this, he cried in a loud voice, 'Lazarus, come out!' The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with strips of material, and a cloth over his face. Jesus said to them, 'Unbind him, let him go free.' Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and had seen what he did, believed in him, but some of them went to the Pharisees to tell them what Jesus had done.


You are freedom, the unbinding of the body, the loosening of the soul. You are freedom, Jesus. In you there is no desire to bind the hearts of humankind, except to you, the one in whom we find perfect liberty.

You roll away stones of oppression from our hearts and bodies. Your name is life and peace. Your heart is given to release the sons of Adam and the daughters of Eve from marauding death, the final enemy of our freedom.

In you we are free, called from tombs of isolation and fear by a love the grave cannot hold. In you we find the liberation of hope. Our souls fly open and free into a broad space wider than the sky, crystal blue and expansive as the love you are.

Surrounded, enveloped, lifted, encompassed by you on all sides, loving your beauty and seeing the beauty of you in all that is: This is freedom.

Speak to us, Liberator of Life. Speak to us from the depths of your eternal desire, and we, too, shall come out, stumbling from our tombs, our hearts finally free to know and be the love you are. Then we shall know the joy you have always intended for us.

You are freedom. May we live today in the perfect liberty of your love.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Today's text

John 11:30-37

Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house comforting Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there. Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.' At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who had come with her, Jesus was greatly distressed, and with a profound sigh he said, 'Where have you put him?' They said, 'Lord, come and see.' Jesus wept; and the Jews said, 'See how much he loved him!' But there were some who remarked, 'He opened the eyes of the blind man. Could he not have prevented this man's death?'


The tables turn. At the beginning, Jesus, you invited those who would follow you to “come and see” where you live. And now it is you who are invited to the place of the dead: “Lord, come and see.”

Yes, please do. Come and see the tombs of earth where we lay our dead. Come and see the hidden vaults of soul where lie our lost loves, vanquished hopes and oozing wounds.

Come and see the drug addict who struggles to keep his eyes open to talk with me in the coffee shop. Come and see where our relationships lie fractured and ruined. Come and see where hungry bellies swell and forgotten souls die.

Come and see where our hearts hate. Come and see our interminable warfare and inability to live in peace, nation to nation or soul to soul.

Come and see the place of the dead.

And you do. You see it all with holy eyes that weep with a love that refuses to be consoled. And in your tears we see the face of the Eternity, the Hidden Ground of Love who sees and loves it all without exception or pause.

Let us see your face, Jesus, that we may know the passion in which we and all are held. Fan our hope for resurrection into a living flame. Only you can.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Today's text

John 11:17-26

On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. …When Martha heard that Jesus was coming she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, 'Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died, but even now I know that God will grant whatever you ask of him.' Jesus said to her, 'Your brother will rise again.' Martha said, 'I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.' Jesus said: I am the resurrection. Anyone who believes in me, even though that person dies, will live, and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? 'Yes, Lord,' she said, 'I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into this world.'


You are life, dearest Friend. Where you are the dead breathe. And I know it.

There are dead places in me, my Friend, scorched stretches of soul burnt lifeless. I have a hard time saying the reasons how or why. The days wound us in a thousand ways.

Voices from within and without penetrate the heart and taunt, whispering, sometimes shouting that I am hopelessly flawed and constantly failing, that I will never reach the measure of that unknown something I think I should be, that I am doomed to lose what I need, living a half-life. At best.

My soul believes the voices, and I die.

Such is not a death unto life, just death, scorched flesh, red-brown and brittle, empty husks of yester-life, dried milk weed in the dead of winter.

And then.

And then I know you near, surrounding and enveloping me, husk and all. Scorched flesh grows soft and supple as the nectar of your love fills each tiny vein. And sweetest air fills the lungs with the freshness of new day.

And I believe the truth, not mere lies: You are the resurrection. In you, I do not die. And never will.

So let my heart not wander from you. I want to live with the life you are. Dear friend, fill every vein.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Today's text

John 11:1-7

There was a man named Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister, Martha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair. The sisters sent this message to Jesus, 'Lord, the man you love is ill.' On receiving the message, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death, but it is for God's glory so that through it the Son of God may be glorified.' Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he heard that he was ill he stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, 'Let us go back to Judea.'


Your spirit is calm, Jesus. Your mind is quiet. Invite me into the oasis of peace that you inhabit. I want to be with you there.

I long for your assurance. You did not rush off to your friend’s side at word of his illness. That could mark you as cold. But that is not what I see.

I see self-possession and certainty. I see deep interior knowledge of what is and what will be. Your soul is a great well filled with this knowing, a liquid assurance that caresses every corner leaving no empty pockets of nagging anxiety.

So you wait, knowing death will not finally deface your friend. You wait, quietly certain that the Loving One will be glorified in you, through the only thing that can glorify the Loving One--an act of astounding love.

That is you assurance, my Friend. You abide so close to the heart of the Loving Mystery that you know that the end is always glory. The end is the revelation of the Love who abides and always will.

Such is the secret of your composure. So let us live so near to your heart that we, too, may know and dwell in your peace.

Pr. David L. Miller