Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday, March 26, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 19:38-40

They cried out: Blessed is he who is coming as King in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens! Some Pharisees in the crowd said to him, 'Master, reprove your disciples,' but he answered, 'I tell you, if these keep silence, the stones will cry out.'


We know the trappings of victory, Jesus. When the contest is won shiny medals hang around the victors' necks, and trophies are brandished high, glinting under spotlights and the flash of cameras.

Winners laugh, cry and hug each other, sharing their triumph which often has come after many thousands of hours of practice and too many set-backs to remember.

I, too, smile when I see such joy on the TV screen, but these moments stand in stark contrast to the joy and accolades lifting you, Jesus.

When the glory of heaven, the victory of God appears on earth, it rides a humble beast and is hailed by shouts of the poor waving palm branches, emblems of peace.

I take nothing from those who strive for excellence and find reward in human contests of strength and skill. These, too, teach us the excellence and striving for which the Holy One makes us.

But the contrast between our understanding of victory and your appearance, Jesus, is too striking to miss. You ride among the poor, the forgotten, those outside the inner circles of human significance.

You spent most of your days among those on whom no spotlight ever shined, ignoring human distinctions between winner and loser, rich and poor, acceptable and outcast. It is they who hail you as the glory of heaven on earth--not those whom we spend far too much of our life trying to impress.

They know: true glory is not the golden glint of victory, but the peace of God extended to every last living thing--no matter who, no matter what, and definitely to the most defeated parts of ourselves.

And when true glory appears, even the stones speak.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today’s text

Luke 19:35-38

So they took the colt to Jesus and, throwing their cloaks on its back, they lifted Jesus on to it. As he moved off, they spread their cloaks in the road, and now, as he was approaching the downward slope of the Mount of Olives, the whole group of disciples joyfully began to praise God at the top of their voices for all the miracles they had seen. They cried out: Blessed is he who is coming as King in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest heavens!Reflection

Strange details catch the eye. They lifted you on the colt. They surround you: a couple in back, another in front, while a fourth stoops in the dust, cups his hands and lifts your foot.

It’s a group effort, and there is joy on the faces of those blessed to touch you. Others gather around and smile at what they are doing for you. They know it is right and proper.

With joy they surround and praise you, waving their palms, little suspecting what would soon come. This is a moment of joy for hearts that are certain they have seen and been found by the presence that they never knew they’d always wanted and needed.

You offered a vision of a world where mercy not rigid lines of separation and division ruled, and their hearts hungered for it. Your words and way, the hunger in your eye for a world barely born, embodied all you taught about this kingdom that sought and treasured them, despite the outward circumstances of their lives.

So they came and praised you for miracles of healing and wholeness--and for the fact that they never felt more whole than when they were with you.

Blessed, you are, Jesus, for the fullness of God shines in your eyes and reaches out with your hands. You bring the peace of heaven that is the glory, the beauty and the wonder of God.

The peace you bring is not that of the conqueror who deposes the enemy, but of a grace that tears down the divisions that divide one human soul from another by boundaries of wealth or nation, culture or creed, color or language.

You draw all that is into the unity of your life where the only thing that matters is the one great sharing of love you are.

I see that unity as they lift you on your horse.

Pr. David L. Miller