Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 1: 40-42

A man suffering from a virulent skin-disease came to him and pleaded on his knees saying, 'If you are willing, you can cleanse me.' Feeling sorry for him, Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him and said to him, 'I am willing. Be cleansed.' And at once the skin-disease left him and he was cleansed.


What would you know if all you ever knew about God was this short text? What is given to you here?

I frequently asked this when teaching people how to meditate with the Bible. I encourage them to listen to what is said to and in them as they let the words and images come alive within them.

If all you ever had of the Scripture was this story, what would you know?

More than can be written here, frankly. For, the soul of God is on display in Jesus outstretched hand and in his words, “I am willing.’

Healing, making the broken whole--this is the desire of God. This is what God wants to do. No, this is who God is, the substance of divine Being.

The nature and heart of the Loving Mystery of God is compressed into one action, Jesus outstretched hand touching the untouchable, healing the discouraged and broken, consoling the broken hearted and loving those who imagine love is beyond them and always will be.

The heart of God becomes incarnate and walks the earth in our brother, Jesus, and what do we see?

Not fire and brimstone, not anger and judgment but utter compassion for a wounded humanity. We see the desire to reach into the depth of our souls and make whole all that is broken.

Our place in the story is kneeling at the feet of Jesus, bearing the wounds of our lives and begging, “If you want to, you can make me whole. You can cleanse me and make me new.”

We hunger for that newness to wash over us again. We want to live and breathe and smile the purest joy of gratitude for our lives and for being able to feel the fullness of divine love.

As we put ourselves at Jesus’ feet, humbly seeking from the fountain of life and love, we know. We know he is willing, so willingly we return again and again to seek the love that makes us whole.

I wonder about the look on Jesus’ face as he saw the man fall at his feet. He looked with compassion at him, we are told. When I imagine that, I see his face looking at me with the compassion that is the face of God.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 2:1-5

When he returned to Capernaum, some time later word went round that he was in the house; and so many people collected that there was no room left, even in front of the door. He was preaching the word to them when some people came bringing him a paralytic carried by four men, but as they could not get the man to him through the crowd, they stripped the roof over the place where Jesus was; and when they had made an opening, they lowered the stretcher on which the paralytic lay. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralytic, 'My child, your sins are forgiven.'


Moments come when time freezes and revelation appears.

The story stops when Jesus glances up and sees a man being lowered from the roof of reeds.

He doesn’t see the man, who is still above him. He doesn’t see his face or his condition. He sees the others, the paralytic’s friends who have taken this step.

They hold ropes fastened to the stretcher, which they carefully lower lest the stretcher tip throwing their friend to the ground with a thump.

This image is transparent to their souls, and this is what Jesus sees.

He sees their faith, and his mouth falls open in that universal ‘ohh’ that occurs at the sight of telling beauty.

I remember when I first saw the turquoise wonder of Lake Victoria, a freezing pearl framed by the Canadian Rockies. I remember the first time I stood on a Sudanese hill and surveyed a gentle bend in the Nile River as it pushed its way north.

I felt that “ohh,” but much more I feel it when I encounter beauty of soul.

It takes one’s breath as love or hope, faith or generosity of surprising magnitude startles you into the awareness of the wonder that lives in the human heart, a beauty that lies dormant waiting to be awakened so that it may grace the world.

That is what you saw Jesus, and it moved you just as it moves me.

You saw their faith, certainly their love for the paralytic, too, but it is their faith that most moved you.

Theirs was the faith that dares to believe there is a power of grace and love alive on this earth that can generously give healing to bodies and souls. They believed the power of this grace and love--the power of an all-generous God--filled you.

They trusted what was in you, the passion of your heart.

The beauty of their hearts touched the beauty of your own. Their faith and the loving power in you were not two different things but the presence of one thing--the divine Spirit.

And that Spirit made them your true brothers, whom you recognized with a word of joy, “ohh.”

May I see such beauty this day … and awaken also that word of joyous surprise in you.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 9:2-4

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and John and led them up a high mountain on their own by themselves. There in their presence he was transfigured: his clothes became brilliantly white, whiter than any earthly bleacher could make them. Elijah appeared to them with Moses; and they were talking to Jesus.


Much is made of mountain top experiences. Too many sermons are preached urging us not to stay up there too long, lest we confuse the mountain top with reality.

But if you don’t mind, I am going to stay here, on the mountain top with Jesus, as he shines brilliantly white, glistening like crystal waters in mid-day sun.

I like who I am when I stand in this presence. I like what I feel and how I see.

I want nothing but to be with him and know that he is all I need. I sense, no, I am certain that life is to stand in the circle of the light shed from his apparition.

There is no fear there, no worries about self, no fears of life and death, even of one’s own death, for the brilliance of his shining reveals that all is life in him, awakening the joy of eternal life within one’s own being.

The mountain top is the place where life is awakened in the soul. It is not a flight from reality, but an elevation into the eternal life for which we were made and for which we are intended.

It is the place where God gives that which God most hungers to give--the divine life of the Holy Trinity, that dancing play of love and joy in which we simply know (finally) ourselves and the loving beauty of God.

The mountain top is not a flight into illusion but the only place we know what is most real and true.

What some call ‘real life’ is a drab imposter. Reality is what we see in the light that shines from the face of Jesus.

Pr. David L. Miller