Friday, May 14, 2010

Friday, May 14, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 24:49-50

'And now I am sending upon you what the Father has promised. Stay in the city, then, until you are clothed with the power from on high.' Then he took them out as far as the outskirts of Bethany, and raising his hands he blessed them.


You blessed them. This is my favorite posture in which to see you, an image carved deep in my soul.

Perhaps it started in the old limestone church in Warren. From behind the high pulpit a mural looked back at me every Sunday. You were risen and ascending high in the air, your hands held head-high, your palms open and wounded in a gesture of blessing.

You looked down at your huddled friends in the painting and at us, a huddled few, gathered to go again through motions of standing, sitting, praying, singing and listening.

Week after week it went on, always under your gaze from the wall, as you silently blessed us, the confused and uncomprehending

Simple things, frequently seen, seem to leave the deepest mark.

The mural is still there, looking down on the generations who followed me in those pews. You are still there, Jesus, blessing them … and me. Only now, miles and years removed from the old church I carry the image in my mind. But it is no less vivid.

It tells me that blessing is what you are about, blessing the confused and uncomprehending, the failed and the fools, the stumbling and the wounded, the arrogant and those who believed they had no need of you or that room and fled as quickly as they could.

Sinners, all of us, that we much held in common, that and the truth that you bless us with a peace and presence that is ever for us, if we realize for the briefest moment that our lives are forever held in the mystery of those up-raised hands.

Silently, unceasingly, they tell us who we are and that we, who huddled beneath your gaze, are intended to live as free beloved, owing you nothing more than to be ourselves, that self that comes out to play and laugh when we know what those hands tell us.

I am sure I undershoot the mark, but for me this is the power from on high, the power, the freedom to be what we are, ourselves, and to give ourselves to those who need us without anxiety or arrogance, self-importance or worries about how we shall be seen or judged. This is power. And it flows from those hands.

You blessed me from that wall. Your hands told who I am, for what I am made and gave me the life you intend me to live. They tell me the power I will have from the Loving Mystery on those days I have the good sense to let you bless me.

Pr. David L. Miller

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