Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Today’s text

Romans 12:1

I urge you, then, brothers, remembering the mercies of God, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, dedicated and acceptable to God; that is the kind of worship for you, as sensible people.


Remembering the mercies of God … . The morning comes, dearest Jesus. The day holds the promise of blessing and hope. I hunger to taste again our blessing. And I hope that I may be an expression of your unceasing grace, a soul through whom the grace of all eternity flows, a river of peace, cooling the fevered lives of others that they may bask in the joy you intend for them.

But if so, the day must begin with an act of memory. Not just any memory, but the recollection of your mercies.

So I remember. There are so many, but today I remember just one, driving to Dubuque, Iowa, and parking my car in from of Martin Luther’s statue at Wartburg Theological Seminary. It was an act of faint hope on my part.

Sitting silently in the car, looking the statue and tall tower rising over the beckoning doorway of the school, I hungered to enter, but my hope was far weaker than the sinking awareness that I could ever walk through those doors.

A college drop-out, I made cheese, sold cars and worked in a drapery hardware factory. I found myself, my heart in none of them, and the longer I worked at each I longed. I hungered for another kind of life I could barely imagine even existed.

And that life was in wrapped up in the gospel of a love I also could not imagine. But that love burned in me. Not that I was so generous or giving, Jesus. I was not, but love for you and for the mysteries of your life burned in me.

I hungered not just to know more. I also burned, truly burned to know the love that you are that my soul might rest in the gentle consolation of simply being loved with that love for which my insatiable soul longed.

This burning moved me beyond my fears to embrace my hopes. No, that’s not quite right. Through the restless burning of my soul you moved me beyond my fears to throw myself into the hope you implanted in me

Loving Mystery, you were … and are … that hope that burns in us, moving us to reach beyond our fears and all that holds us back from deeper knowing and serving of you.

That burning made me so restless, so uncomfortable, so wanting … more that I pushed through my fears. I forgot about how much work it would be, how much money it would take, how impossible it all seemed as my wife and I planned for our first child.

And I walked into those beckoning doors to enter a world of studying and serving and struggling to know the love for which I and all are intended.

This is your mercy to me, Loving God. You refused to leave me to my fears. You made my heart relentlessly restless so that I might enter the hope you had in me, the hope fanned by those drives to Dubuque when I sat and stared.

The day begins, and I remember your mercy, a mercy that made me uncomfortable but moved me to trust your guiding and to walk into the warmth of your eternal embrace.

Pr. David L. Miller

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