Friday, January 27, 2012

Friday, January 27, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 1:23-27

And at once in their synagogue there was a man with an unclean spirit, and he shouted, 'What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.' But Jesus rebuked it saying, 'Be quiet! Come out of him!' And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking one another what it all meant, saying, 'Here is a teaching that is new, and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.'


Astonishment holds no interest for me. I don’t care about it. I don’t wonder in amazement that Jesus did startling things. Nor do I spend a moment trying to understand how he acted with such power or even to believe that he did.

The same is true of rationalizations about what was really happening. Was it demon or some form of mental illness or maybe epilepsy that seized this poor fellow?

None of this captures my interest. The questions bore me and waste the time of any who care to take them on.

What matters to me is what happened to the man. What did Jesus do for him?

This answer is not hard to find … or to want for yourself.

He freed him to live.

He took away the bondage that kept his heart and mind--not to mention his body--from running free as the wind, from sucking up each daily breath with gratitude and joy. He released him from the angry rants that drove all human communion and consolation far away.

He restored him to the ordinary graces of human community where we live and love, struggle and fear, sin and forgive, laugh and cry, suffer and die.

With an angry voice, he drove away the hindrance that kept human souls from throwing their arms around him to receive as a brother, a friend, a soul worth knowing loving.

He ripped away the barrier to loving acceptance and grace, so that he might know the simple sacramental joy of being human and sharing the love that God is.

Jesus did for him the same thing he hungers to do for us.

So speak to our bondage, Jesus. Drive off the demons of our fears and wounds, the burdens of our failures and sins and restore a community of love among us that we might truly live.

For by experience I know … this is what you do and who you are.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tuesday, January 26, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 1:21-22

They went as far as Capernaum, and at once on the Sabbath he went into the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.


Sometimes you just know, and knowing … you speak with simplicity and power. Words ring true, with truth arising not from books or reading but from the depth of a soul that feels life and pain, hope and the Love who is God.

Such was your soul, Jesus. All that is human--all that is in us--was felt and treasured, cherished and held at the depth of your heart, where your human heart and the heart of the Divine Mystery met.

You spoke of what you knew, not what you learned; of what you felt, not what others thought you should say. There was no need for others to authenticate your words or meaning, for they flowed from that point where your soul and the soul of God were one.

I know that point. I have been there; most of us have at one time or another. And I know when I feel someone is speaking truth that appears when all artificiality is stripped away, and we say what we are, what we truly see and know.

But only love, immortal and immeasurable love allows us entry into such depth of soul where truth is known and true authority is found. Only when we can look at our lives and hearts, our failures and fears with love … and not denial or the desire to escape … do we arrive at the place where truth … where God is found.

You lived in that place, Jesus. Embracing the realities of your life and ours, welcoming the lives of needy, craving human souls into the love you knew within, you brought human experience and the experience of God together--and you spoke what you felt and knew … so that we might know what you know, and speak with the authority found only in loving.

Pr. David L. Miller