Thursday, April 26, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today's text

John 10:14

I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me.

Reflection: What happens inside

It happened again last Sunday. I stepped to the altar at the close of worship, bowed and spoke two words. “Thank you.”

The words are not planned or calculated. No one hears them, since the final song is being sung. But the words are always there; appearing from a part of my soul I don’t control but can only notice.

“Thank you for letting me part of this.”

For the hour of worship, I have inhabited a space where unfettered grace holds sway, where the anxieties of competition, disease, struggle and uncertain futures are washed away in the flood of a love from the boundless heart of God.

Once more I have received what I need lest I forget who I am, where I come from and for what I am made.

Sometimes, often lately, the hour of worship feels like a bubble in time. Together we step into a space that is not just physical but profoundly spiritual and liberating.

Inside this space things happen that don’t or cannot happen outside this space. Words are spoken that feel forced and awkward elsewhere. People touch and hug struggling friends they haven’t seen all week. Sorrow can be named and prayed, and sufferers can be blessed.

The flurry and worries of daily life may control our time and minds outside this space, but not inside.

When we come inside we enter a realm, a physical and spiritual space where the love of God holds sway, where gentle grace pours healing oil on wounds, whether old or fresh, and human hands reach out to bless.

Inside, laughter at human foibles and frailties sparkles in the air because we know our failures and fears are held in Love Immeasurable. Inside, we know that we are welcome and loved, treasured and delighted in by the Loving Mystery whose grace shines in the face of Jesus--and in the faces around us who know and love him.

Inside this holy space, babies grab my glasses when I take them from their fathers’ arms to baptize them.

Inside, faces are named as they file forward and open empty hands to receive a food that fills the heart with the awareness of that Love who welcomes every part of them. Inside, arms encircle the shoulders of those whose eyes are still moist at the pain of goodbye.

Inside, children hug me, talk back to me, make fun of me and become sacraments of a Love far greater they--or I--can possible understand.

Inside, we sing to the mountains and the seas, lifting our voices, raising our hearts to proclaim the day blessed, a day when all the world rejoices in the gift of life and the truth of Love.

Inside, we take the hand of the person next to us, hold it up and pray an old prayer that has crossed billions of lips, “Our Father … .” Praying together, we feel oneness with another human soul and all those other souls who breathe and need, who fear and laugh, who live and die knowing there is One from whom we come and to whom we go, One who is Love Unbounded.

Inside, our hearts fall open again, and we are able to forgive (or at least to try) the failures and sins of those who have hurt us, recognizing that we are as human as flawed as those who sin against us.

Inside, we become human beings again. The shackles of our fears drop away, and we breathe deeply, drinking in the good air of earth. And with each breath, God laughs at the joy of giving us life.

Inside, we know. We know the Love God is, the Love for which we are intended, the Love we are privileged to share, the joy of that sharing and the hope that the grace that fills our gathering will, in God’s time, thoroughly fill us and all that is.

Until that day, we need to come inside, to step into this space where grace holds sway that our hearts may again be made human and learn to say, “Thank you. Thank you for everything.”

Pr. David L. Miller


Anonymous said...

Thanks be to God! This sacred moment of thanks happens for me during Holy Communion.

Anonymous said...

This Sunday the baptismal service was special. We all stood to say the Apostles'Creed except the two children ahead of my daughter and myself. They were busy coloring tin their books. We said "I believe in Jesus Christ". The little girl said "ME TOO" and continured to color her picture. I'm sure Jesus smiled.