Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 13:34

'Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you that kill the prophets and stone those who are sent to you! How often have I longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you refused!’


I want to get inside your emotion this morning, Jesus, but I am not there. Not yet, at least. So draw me in that I may know the love that burns at your soul for the lost and alone--yes, and for the lost and lonely parts of our hearts, too.

I want to crawl inside your heart, see through your eyes and know the pain of loving as you love. Maybe then I would know how to care for wounded souls within my reach.

They are beyond me, many of them, even though they are near. But I can not reach or touch the deep wounded places in their souls to set them free to live and breathe in fullness. Their lungs and lives remain constricted by festering wounds, pains and sorrows that tie their souls to earth’s cold crust.

Some wounds are self-inflicted; others the scars of cruelty and apathy, left by those who live their lives oblivious to the damage they left in their wake. Doesn’t seem fair, but then it isn’t.

But my anger for those who wound and abuse heals no one. It gathers no soul beneath protective wings so that the wounded little ones may at last come home and know the love you are, a love that covers all things--that forgives the sins, melts the wounds, heals the scars and leaves only tears of gratitude.

Can they know this, Jesus? Can they know you whole and complete? For knowing you so well is all that can make us well. And we hope and need to well again.

So let us in, let us feel, let us know the yearning you feel to gather all your little ones beneath your wings and make them whole. Let us feel this. Maybe then we shall be released.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 13:31-34

Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.' He replied, 'You may go and give that fox this message: Look! Today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third day I attain my end. But for today and tomorrow and the next day I must go on, since it would not be right for a prophet to die outside Jerusalem.'


Why Jerusalem?

I suppose there are historical reasons, but reasons of the heart have always been more persuasive to me, and why shouldn’t they be when the question is a matter of where one chooses to die, a rather personal concern no matter how you look at it.

Your last stand, last statement, final testament must occur there, in a place where messengers of the God’s mercy and justice had for centuries stood and spoke, even when no one listened. Prophet’s blood had been spilled before on those ancient cobblestones.

So you head there, Jesus, to the city considered the center of the universe, there to make clear the center of the divine heart, which long before had become the center of your own.

You journey to the center of the world to reveal the center of the One who is central to all of life in this and every cosmos.

It is as if you hang out a large blinking sign, “Watch! Don’t miss this! The final act reveals the meaning of the whole story!”

That would be the big story of all life … and of my life, Jesus. On those ancient cobblestones, a story plays out revealing holy beauty and human ugliness, divine intention and determined rejection, dogged hate and indomitable love.

These forces will parry and clash in Jerusalem, setting out the eternal conflict that goes on in human souls and societies in every time and place. But at the end, one will stand; one will emerge walking unbound from death’s bitter ashes.

And we will know … Love will have its way. This is the central truth shining bright at the central place where the whole story comes clear.

May that love form the center of my soul this and every day.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 13:31-32

Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go away,' they said. 'Leave this place, because Herod means to kill you.' He replied, 'You may go and give that fox this message: Look! Today and tomorrow I drive out devils and heal, and on the third day I attain my end.


I admire your self-possession, Jesus. I envy and want it.

Faced with threat, it is not threat that determines your course. Your path is set by your own internal compass, not the decisions of others about you, not even when they seek your life.

You go your own way, your heart set to true north. There is work to do, a purpose to fulfill, a commitment to complete, a mystery to reveal.

Nothing deters you, not even the machinations of tin-pot despots whose hands drip with blood.

It is not your courage that most moves me, but your abiding sense of self, of identity. You know who you are, what you are to do and what must be done for your life to have served the purpose for which it is appointed.

How do you manage such singular focus? How is it that external events fail to bump you off course? Did you wake each day and claim again the Father’s purpose for you? Did you grit your teeth and steel yourself for whatever might come?

I don’t think so.

But my experience of waffling makes me wonder how you stayed on true north when resistance, rejection and threat blocked your path.

For you always walked true north, deeper with each step into the holy purpose of revealing a world ruled by mercy alone. My end will take care of itself, you said, and reaching that end was all that mattered to you.

I am moved by such single-hearted dedication to mercy’s deed. Always have been, always will.

What I notice when I look most closely is the lack of jut-jawed defiance in your words and bearing. I see a measure of humor--“that fox,” indeed! And I sense the conviction of mercy, of love, of compassion for every last and lost corner of earth.

The conviction of mercy moves you. That is true north, and you live joyously aware that this singular truth requires that your feet move always and only in one direction.

For mercy will come. Mercy will be all in all, and all you do must show this.

Accept my amazement and thanks, and hear my hope that perhaps, I, too, may walk as you.

Pr. David L. Miller