Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Today’s text

Mark 1:4-8

John the Baptist was in the desert, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. All Judaea and all the people of Jerusalem made their way to him, and as they were baptized by him in the river Jordan they confessed their sins. John wore a garment of camel-skin, and he lived on locusts and wild honey. In the course of his preaching he said, 'After me is coming someone who is more powerful than me, and I am not fit to kneel down and undo the strap of his sandals. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.'


Come, Lord Jesus. Pour your Spirit into my hesitant heart.

My soul fears its failures and knows its weaknesses. I equally fear the freedom you bring to all on whom you pour your Spirit.

Do I really want to live freely, giving myself fully to those you have given me to love, serving without reserve those you have placed in my care?

I know this soul of mine. For all my impulsiveness, my heart holds back from those with whom I do not feel the ease of acceptance, those with whom I disagree, those who may look on me with doubt or suspicion.

It is typically human, I know. But my old wounds require a wall of protection that is exactly what your Spirit would strip from me, exposing my heart to hearts I do not know and have not yet learned to trust.

You invite me to trust you more than measures I use to cushion myself from the pains of leading and loving, from the vulnerability of opening my heart beyond its comfort zone.

But entering such vulnerability and encountering my weakness is exactly what I must do if I am to be human, human the way that you are, human the way you intend for all who love you.

So come, Lord Jesus. Fill me with the Love that is your Spirit. Then, knowing the Love you are, I will know there is nothing to fear … but missing you.

Come, Lord Jesus. Pour your Spirit into my hesitant heart.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Today’s text

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is written in the prophet Isaiah: Look, I am going to send my messenger in front of you to prepare your way before you. A voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord, make his paths straight.


How shall I prepare, my Lord? Perhaps your name alone is sufficient this morning.

To the Hebrews of old you were the unnamable mystery. I like that more and more as I age. With the years, I understand that I understand less than I’d thought.

And that is okay. I really don’t want to worship a God that I understand, who obeys my expectations and fits my assumptions. Such a one falls far short of the mystery and majesty of your eternity and immeasurable magnitude, you who cast billions of galaxies into dark space for your play.

How dare we try to hang a name on you? Who do we think we are?

I stand gladly with those ancient Hebrews, falling silent each time your unspeakable name should appear in the lines of biblical text or prayer, knowing your real name is too holy, too precious, too incomprehensible to say.

They just called you ‘Lord,’ the One to whom I and all else belongs, the only One to whom worship and reverence properly belongs.

And now it is for you, Lord, that I must prepare, you who are pleased to come to the likes of me. No preparation is proper or adequate for you. So I will sit in the silence before you and savor the name I am permitted to speak: Your are Lord, My Lord.

In you is all happiness and holy purpose, all life and love, so I will clear spaces amid the clamor of living and the clatter of this season to calm my heart and listen to the voice of soul where you speak, to music that invokes your nearness, to the souls of your beloved who bear your presence to my soul.

Bless my preparations, dear Loving and Nameless One; bless and draw near that your love may fill my frame and teach my soul to speak your name, the silent one that only love knows.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, December 01, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Today’s text

Mark 1:1

The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


Beginning … a word of promise all its own. To begin again, to have one more chance to get it right, life that is, and love; to become what I am intended to be, what my heart knows it wants and needs to be, to enter into the fullness that I sense within.

This my soul craves, but I am still the same old me.

Even now, in prayer, my heart is not pure but divided, the mind racing ahead to work demanding to be done; hurrying ahead I press to write quickly that I might get to the important labors of the day, as if these quiet moments are not.

All the while I miss the truth of this moment. Today is the beginning of entering the fullness of heart and joy you intend for me, Holy Mystery. Each day is the beginning of the good news you are.

Each day, fresh and free, is filled with the possibility of entering that state of grace and joy you hunger to share.

So free me from anxious thoughts about unfinished tasks, old failures that haunt the soul and words I should not have spoken. Free me that this day may be my new beginning, a gateway into the freedom to be what I am, a freedom known only as I know you.

Let me throw off the weight of yesterday and hear the gospel of a love that makes each day a new beginning. I hunger for new beginnings.

Pr. David L. MIller