Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Today’s text

1 Peter 1:3-5

Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who in his great mercy has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead and into a heritage that can never be spoilt or soiled and never fade away. It is reserved in heaven for you … .


I don’t think much about heaven, my Lord, except at funerals when I must stand and speak … or listen myself for words of hope.

The rest of the time the idea seldom enters my mind, although I am more sure of it as the years pass. Perhaps it is because I am closer to the time when I, too, will be gathered to the parade of generations who have gone before, who have dwelt this earth, lived their lives and fallen away. I, too, will take my place.

When I think of this a strange love appears in my heart for that great multitude and especially for those whose faces quickly come to mind, especially my father. I miss him at this time of year as All Saints approaches; he is one of my saints.

I think he would be surprised to think that I hold him responsible for the faith that burns today in my heart. He faced his end with a doubting faith, and I could not take his doubts away. I could only love him, telling him that he should rest and let me believe for him. I wanted him to have utter assurance, but I doubt I was able to provide that at the end.

Still, he believed and hoped, and he knew, truly knew, the beauty of eternity, the treasure that doesn’t fade shining through this translucent world. He had few words for this. It fell to me to name that beauty for him, the beauty of sunrise and set, of hills and green, of cattle and living things scattered on hills beneath an everlasting blue sky of wonder.

And he gave this wonder to me, along with the intuition of a Heart from which such glory springs. That would be your heart, Dearest Friend.

You are that Heart of infinte generosity and love that shines through and stirs hope even in old dying men … and me.

So when I think of a heritage laid up for me I can imagine it only in terms of the love and hope I know here and now because of faces like my father’s and what they gave me, often without even knowing it.

What awaits is completion of what already is, and I have tasted enough to know there are some things for which I have no words.

So let my silence praise you.

Pr. David L. Miller

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