Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today’s text

Philippians 2:5-8

Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, did not count equality with God something to be grasped. But he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, becoming as human beings are; and being in every way like a human being, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross.


There is little around of the mind of Christ today, or do I fail to know how to look and see?

The mind of Christ is given-ness to the love of the God who is Love, whose will is life and whose joy is to see human souls breathe deeply, drawing in the good air of Earth that they may come fully alive to all they are and all that is.

Standing in the church garden, I stretch my arms, reaching for the sky. I feel the goodness of cramped muscles lengthening, unbinding from the clench of winter. I stretch and release the tension as my hands reach high, and suddenly mere exercise becomes prayer.

An endless blue sky is scattered with thin cirrus clouds, feathers of heaven, high, very high. A jet plies its highway across the blue, across the country, heading somewhere east; the clouds are so high I see the jet passing far beneath them.

And I laugh in awareness that I am … that I am alive … and that in this moment I am happy to see the blue and the jet and feel aging muscles rejoice as I reach for heaven’s gate, straining to touch the face of He who is the Source of this moment.

I feel the truth that my life and breath are a mysterious gift, and this moment, too, is gift, as I feel the goodness of the One who made me, breathed life into me and gave me a soul to feel this moment.

What has any of this to do with the mind of Christ, the mind of my brother Jesus, who looked at the trees and flowers, the skies and waters of the good Earth and felt much as I do now?

Perhaps only that in this moment love flows freely from my heart, as from his, love for all that is on this Earth, for all that exists across the wonder of a universe I can’t begin to comprehend.

Love flows from the goodness of straining muscles and the joy of blue skies and the smallness of speeding jets dwarfed by feathery cirrus on this gentle March day.

Love flows from awareness of the gift and wonder of life--from the knowledge that the Father of Life is love, a Love whose goal is to awaken the Love he is in us that we, too, may give ourselves for others.

Just like our brother, Jesus, who is the face of the Love who fashioned blue skies and March mornings and loves us all … to the end … and beyond.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 11:4-10

They went off and found a colt tethered near a door in the open street. As they untied it, some men standing there said, 'What are you doing, untying that colt?' They gave the answer Jesus had told them, and the men let them go. Then they took the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on its back, and he mounted it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others greenery which they had cut in the fields. And those who went in front and those who followed were all shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of David our father! Hosanna in the highest heavens!'


When Jesus came to Jerusalem he came to conquer, but unlike those who came before him he carried no sword or shield. He rode no warhorse, nor was he pulled in a chariot by a prancing steed.

He bore no visible sign of power or empire; no military ensigns preceded him, trumpeting his arrival.

He came not to knock down walls or destroy his opponents but to conquer the human heart, to win allegiance to a new and holy kingdom where every living thing has its place, where all that breathes is loved and treasured, where the hungry have their needs fulfilled, where the broken find relief and blessing, and the forgotten feel how treasured they are in the hearts of God and all who belong to God.

His is a kingdom of peace where the heart of God becomes human reality, where the love of God flows like a fountain through every soul and the bliss of Eden is restored, where tears are wiped from the eyes of those who grieve and death is feared no more because every heart knows the love of God is stronger than death.

He comes in humility, seeking hearts who hunger for the kingdom of God, the rule of grace, the reign of blessed peace.

“Hosanna,” the crowds cried as he approached the ancient city of Jerusalem, already occupied by Roman, forces who ruled by fear and force, brutality and murder. The word is a prayer for mercy, “Save us, we pray.”

It’s a good prayer, as relevant now as then in our angry, violent, hungry age where the needy are oft forgotten and nations still believe peace comes through superior power not through commitment to justice and compassion.

Waving palms as Jesus passes is a prayer for God’s kingdom of compassion and peace. It is an act of surrender in which we turn from the way of the warhorse and give ourselves to his love that the holy kingdom might come … and come also through us.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 11:7-10

Then they took the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on its back, and he mounted it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others greenery which they had cut in the fields. And those who went in front and those who followed were all shouting, 'Hosanna! Blessed is he who is coming in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of David our father! Hosanna in the highest heavens!'


Those who shouted praise to God along the road had seen others ride into Jerusalem. Roman legions had marched into the city to take control, some riding snorting steeds, swords clattering as their horses climbed the rough road.

No one shouted praise to God for them. They came to occupy and pacify the population for the glory and enrichment of Rome. Power was their game, fear and force their way.

Then you come, Jesus, not on a snorting steed but a gentle young animal, and people throw their cloaks on the road and wave green branches from the trees, a symbol of peace, life and growth.

I remember the ancient story of Noah. Surviving the flood on his boat, he sends out a dove which returns with an olive branch, a sign of peace. The struggle with death had passed. The unruly waters would soon recede to their proper boundaries, and life could begin once more. A new start, a fresh beginning.

Ancient prophets, too, spoke of a king who would come humbly, mounted on a gentle beast instead of a war horse, to bring peace to a world accustomed to war and fear.

But our souls never become totally accustomed to fear and war. You created us in love to share the goodness of you who are the Source of all good, to share this good earth and whatever sweetness of grace we know in this life.

We are created for communion in such joy, and we hunger for deliverance from whatever powers, fears and bondage prevent our entry into the life for which our hearts long.

This is ancient, not new. The souls who watched you enter the city on a gentle beast felt it just as much as we.

Perhaps they looked at you riding into town and remembered the old prophesies and perhaps even old Noah.

But they didn’t need to remember any of this to be moved to joy and praise. They needed only to look at you and listen to their hearts to know that the communion of peace for which human hearts long was right there, on the dusty road.

The world and their hearts could begin again.

Make me a person of your humble peace.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, March 26, 2012

Monday, March 26, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 11:1-3

When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, close by the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples and said to them, 'Go to the village facing you, and as you enter it you will at once find a tethered colt that no one has yet ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone says to you, "What are you doing?" say, "The Master needs it and will send it back here at once." '


The master needs it. Today, this moment …all that I am, all on which I lay my hands … the master needs it.

I hear these words, and my heart immediately elevates with joy. Why?

The master needs it.

The master needs me, my hands and heart, the tools I use, the words I speak, the actions of my hands, the expressions of my face. The master needs them, needs me for his purpose.

I feel honored, wanted, desired. But the joy springs from the deepest, most secret part of me--that place where your soul and my soul are indivisible, where my life is really your life bubbling up into this body I call ‘me,’ giving me existence and energy.

The master needs it. With this request, this invitation, you invite me to return the life you have first given me, to let that life flow back into you who are my Source.

A circle is brought to completion. You breathe life into me, and in seeking my partnership you invite me to return that life, that breath, and when I do … you breathe more breath, life and joy into me. And I know, I just know, for what am made.

The invitation to give my life, my hands, my heart to you this day draws me into an eternal circle of giving and receiving, in which there is no beginning and no end.

But it is true: You need me to give that life I am back to you to keep the circle of giving going … on and on. This circle is the way of life, and the joy it brings is the echo of our hearts telling us what we need to know.

Pr. David L. Miller