Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday, August 17, 2012

Today’s text

John 6:51

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.


What shall we eat for lunch? Whatever else we eat Jesus invites us to take into our substance the substance of his soul, a soul who is the heart of the Mystery from which all wonders flow.

That Mystery is the One who is Love, the Ultimate Mystery. God is not a being, not a man or woman, old or young, bearded or sitting on a throne. All such language is poetry grasping our imaginations and drawing us beyond what we think or imagine that we might feel gape-jawed wonder at the mystery of our lives.

The Loving Mystery has called us into being and placed us here to know and be the Love God is. We did not choose this. We simply find ourselves here, alive, with the breath of God in our lungs and a niggling awareness that our lives are connected to a great wonder whose name we can’t quite speak or remember.

We feel this in our bones late in the night or when we stand amid the pines or hard woods, captured by the unique beauty of each tree as it grows from hidden depths, reaching skyward for that something without which our hearts remain restless, homeless, lacking peace.

The trees, too, hunger, just like our souls. We strain toward the substance that will fill our hearts so that fear fades and joyful giving and laughter overflows our boundaries, spilling onto the earth around us … and any who might be standing there.

We hunger to be filled with living bread, the substance of life, the hidden manna from the Source of our souls that completes the heart. There is no peace until we are one with the One from who we came, the One we most need, the One who is the love for which the soul hungers.

Jesus speaks simply to our restless hunger. “Come, eat the substance of this my soul, my flesh and blood. Come, eat and know what your heart needs to know. For, my soul is one with the One you need, the One who is all love, the One who is your Source and Home. Come eat my words; consume the bread I give, the wine that is my lifeblood.

“Taste and see the substance of my soul is the Love that draws you. Come and know. I am your peace. Always.”

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday, August 17, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 5:18

Do not get drunk with wine; this is simply dissipation; be filled with the Spirit.


The wind carries the song of the Spirit. Listen. You may hear.

The voice of your Dearest Friend may fill your heart with wordless speech that tells you all you need to know, lifting your soul into the rapture of true knowing: all things were made by Love to awaken the hidden beauty of the Love who abides in our hidden depths.

All creation is God’s holy speech. A red cardinal splits the range of my vision, slicing through the evening breeze that cools the earth. He settles into dense pine boughs, thick with needles, disappears, hidden and safe in his home.

The breeze silently whispers the name of the Holy One, the Creator of soft summer nights, the Source of the cardinal’s gaudy plumes and of the greening meadow, re-awakened to life by late rains that bring resurrection from scorching drought.

What a wonder this earth is. Not a word is spoken, yet everything speaks the wonder the Loving Mystery, the Infinite Source, the One who is Being and gives Being to all that is, and us, out of sheerest generosity.

The Lord is a singer of songs intended to seduce the heart to love the Love who in love breathes life into all that live.

Hearing the divine song, wherever it is sung, awakens love and life, filling even troubled hearts with the Divine Spirit, so that praise and gratitude requires no effort. It is as natural as breathing. We draw in the life that is Life, and we live, as surely resurrected as the green meadow from harsh summer’s burning.

So listen … and look. Life, that One, is there. Always.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 5:16-17

Make the best of the present time, for it is a wicked age. This is why you must not be thoughtless but must recognize what is the will of the Lord.


You have today. That is all you can be sure of, and you cannot be sure that all of this day will be yours.

There was a time when this thought brought human minds into sharp focus. Not so much anymore.

We live longer; the accidents and diseases, the happenstances that threaten life were more common and not as easy to avoid when I was a boy, to say nothing of earlier ages and centuries when the certainties of life were, well, much less certain.

Today, we readily assume that this day and the shape of our lives is secure, believing we will work and live through the day, rising tomorrow to receive another.

But there is another sense; a deeper awareness of the present moment, for it is all we really have: this moment. Right now
In an instant, the moment is gone, replaced by another as what just happened, what was said and done is carried into the past by an ever-flowing current none of us can stop.

The future moment, the next hour, tomorrow? These we do not yet have. What we have is now, a moment to be received in all its complexity and perplexity, a moment in which we can receive and bless, act and speak or choose silent watching as the better part of wisdom.

So be where you are; occupy the present moment, undistracted and undisturbed by anxieties or anticipations of tomorrow. These divert your eyes from what is before you now, the needs, the faces, the labor, the opportunities to bless and love, to grace and make this moment more alive.

You can grace this moment with the Life who is in you, the life and love that is the Loving Source of every moment.

You have today. Give yourself to it. Surrender your heart to the now. It holds treasures that bless, surprises that grace, pathways to become more human and beautiful than you know.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 5:19-20

Sing psalms and hymns and inspired songs among yourselves, singing and chanting to the Lord in your hearts, always and everywhere giving thanks to God who is our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Sing the song of the soul’s delight. Sing the praise of the Unknowable Wonder who is always at hand.

Forget the pettiness with which you pick at all you find wrong with your life and the lives that brush against your own. Turn quickly from the seeming smallness of the present moment that feels insignificant compared with the lives of others or the life you dreamed.

Be here and now in this moment, which is more full of wonder and life, joy and holy purpose than you imagine. Be here to see and sing the glories of the day. Live the life you have been given to live

Enter now this great and beautiful day. You are summoned to a Wednesday, of all things, with eyes wide open and hearts filled with expectation, knowing that every where you look this day you can see and find grace.

You will know the beauty of human souls, the comfort of community and the greening of nature. You will witness with wonder that all things, all hearts and minds--yours, too--are fashioned to grow and thrive, to discover the beauty that is within them.

The beauty and life that lies within seeks hidden pathways from the dark intuitions of potential to the light of day, for the Creative Spirit whose Life fills all things, stirs in you, in all you love and in everything your eyes will see.

So look gently and intently on all that comes. Let thirsty eyes drink in the faces and places, the situations and challenges, the joys and tears, the laughter that sparkles and the fears you’d flee but cannot escape. Welcome the pains of moving from where you are to the unknown of what will yet be.

For the Living One is there amid it all, yes, all. No moment of time is forgotten, no hidden corner of creation is forsaken, no secret of your soul is beyond reach.

Know this, and keep your eyes open. The love that is present in every moment will find you--bursting also from hidden springs deep in our hearts. And you will sing the song of the soul’s delight.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Today’s text

Ephesians 5:15-16

That is why I, having once heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus, and your love for all God's holy people, have never failed to thank God for you and to remember you in my prayers.


Too often, prayer for all those I serve is missing. As a result, I miss the fullness of gratitude and joy that is God’s hunger for every heart.

Lacking gratitude, I miss the power needed to live with anticipation, descending instead to the land of disappointment and petty aggrievement. Not today.

Today, I begin by lining up the faces that I saw at worship on Sunday. I go through them as best I can, too many to remember, but I remember some.

I think, too, of those whose faces I haven’t seen for a long time, those whom I hunger to have back in the assembly of hope that draws me back each Sunday to hear and claim a word of grace.

And I say two words, which are the only words necessary for prayer, “thank you.”

Thank you for the privilege of doing this work. Thank you for the privilege of bowing at the altar, of steering tennis-shoe clad acolytes through the service and joking with nervous assisting ministers on the leader’s bench. Thank you for the joy of singing.

Thank you for letting me stand at the head of a line of the needy with a loaf of bread in my hands and being able to give as you give, to love as you love, to share as you share, to bless their children, look into their eyes and feel their gratitude for receiving a gift that reawakens their faith that your love has not and will never lose them.

Thank you for each of them--the knowing and the unconscious, those just going through the motions and those who receive the bread and a hearty ‘amen,’ or a relieved ‘thanks be to God.’

Thanks for the ones that I don’t think like me much and those who hang on every word I speak. Thank you for the petty and the generous, the half-committed and those who can’t wait to get to their cars and flee the lot.

Thank you for each life, the breath they breathe and for their presence in my life. Thank you for what they might become if they truly knew you. Thank you for the love I know from and in them, the love I see in them for their children, their families and friends. Thanks for letting me see and hear the places where that love spills beyond their narrow circle of care to others. Thank you for their decency and the desire you have put in them to be the gracious souls you would have become.

Thank you for the sins and failures and wounds that awaken them to the love you are and always will be. Thank you for all of them, whether they be pleasant or a great challenge for me to like and love them.

Thank you for each of them and the community I am privileged to lead and serve.

My morning prayer of thanks now given I go to my day, not defeated or afraid, not dreading routine duties that pile up.

I come with joy and gratitude, knowing I am part of something wondrous and beautiful, a beauty I just may see once more so long as prayer keeps my eyes open to what is before me on every hand.

Pr. David L. Miller