Friday, September 21, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 9:30-32

After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he [Jesus] did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, 'The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.' But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.


We know people like this, people who give themselves away in love and trust.

They love those they have been given to love, and they trust that the One, the Mystery who made them, will raise them up when they lose themselves, when for love’s sake they surrender to tasks that wither the life out of them … or even get them killed.

They are the souls who most clearly show us who Jesus is and what God is like, magnetically drawing us to be as they are and know what they know.

Names come to mind, great names, Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., for example, but faces appear, too. And so many of those faces are not far away, nor are they people whose decisions and sacrifices show up in the daily news.

They are people who give themselves with care to the tiny tasks of the day, to each person they meet, to the situations that come, the needs that arise, and who struggle for patience and grace amid the set-backs, slights and frustrations that are part of living.

They are parents and grandparents who love us, the children who don’t run from the absorbing needs of aging parents, the teacher, the nurse, the helper, the friend or neighbor who cares for our loved one even as much as we do.

They are wives and husbands who forgive the failures of the imperfect people to whom they share their lives and who hang in there when the going is hard.

They are the ones who make food for the homeless and remember the lonely and forgotten who feel life has passed them by and no one cares.

They are us, not just the saints of old or the great ones whose deeds are known and celebrated by millions.

Jesus soul, the Soul of the all-merciful God, is different from yours and mine, yet this is the soul he seeks to give away and give to us, in two ways.

His soul is given to reveal God’s kingdom of divine love. He gives himself to this reality, this vision of a world not yet come, knowing his suffering and death will reveal it, making it real.

And he invites us to walk the path of loving, doing justice and giving ourselves in grace and care. Walking this path, the seed of the Christ Soul within us sprouts and grows so that we have and know the Soul who has us.

If you keep your eyes open, you just may see his great Soul, and amid tears you may find it within yourself.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 9:35-38

So he [Jesus] sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.' He then took a little child whom he set among them and embraced, and he said to them, 'Anyone who welcomes a little child such as this in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me, welcomes not me but the one who sent me.'


A person sits down in the chair opposite me in my office. It is morning or evening, perhaps mid-day; it doesn’t matter. Each time is the same.
Their eyes may be moist or veiled by troubles they have yet to name. Sometimes they are full of joy at unexpected blessing or in expectation for life to begin with the young man or woman beside them.

Each time is the same even though their stories and emotions couldn’t be more different.
Each time I am invited to welcome them and enter to their story, however joy-filled or wracked with suffering I can do nothing about.

Each time I am invited to shut off the anxious, internal chatter in my mind and step into their world, hoping that somewhere in the process words, wisdom and grace will appear that will lighten their load or give reason and insight to help light their way.

Each time I wait for the Spirit to stir some clarity and blessing from the morass of my mind where I know I have very little in the way of wisdom or insight, although I do have a bit of grace to share.

Each time I am invited to welcome the child that sits before me.

No, they are not all children. Children seldom make it to my office for these kinds of conversations.

Yet they are children, as are all of us. They come with their humanity in their hands, leading with needs and wounds they can’t heal.

And I get to welcome them, enter their stories and embrace their humanity, which makes me one of the privileged.

Jesus placed a child before his friends and said, “Welcome this child, and you welcome me; you welcome the One Love who sent me.”

I know this is true. Our consciousness is transformed as we welcome the humanity of another.

Entering the world of another human being as needy as we are, we feel and know the open heart of Divine Love opening up in ourselves. Just so, we welcome the One who welcomes us and all, knowing a grace that goes beyond any we, ourselves, can give.

So take your time this day, and take care with each soul. Each person, each meeting, each need is the door through which we enter the Presence of the Heart who is our truest home.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 9:30-32

After leaving that place they made their way through Galilee; and he [Jesus] did not want anyone to know, because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them, 'The Son of man will be delivered into the power of men; they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death he will rise again.' But they did not understand what he said and were afraid to ask him.


The gate to the kingdom of God’s holy love is the way of surrender. It is the way of giving yourself to the moments of your life, to the loves you are given to love, to the needs, great and small, of the precious souls life has given to you.

The kingdom opens before you as you refuse to flee the deep commitments of your life when they grow difficult or the way gets hard.

It is in such times that we begin to glow with the greatest beauty that shines from the human soul, the glorious light of losing yourself in love at the point of another’s need.

Just so, the needs of others, our commitments to one another as spouses and parents, our commitments to children and friends, relatives or strangers for that matter, are the door to resurrection and renewal.

I think of this every time I see a son or daughter standing fast at the bedside of their dieing mother or father, every time I see tears trickling down the cheeks of a parent burning with the desire to help their troubled child, knowing there is little they can do.

They shine with a glory beyond their own, having surrendered the idea that life is about seeking the most comfortable way--or that it is about making oneself important, … at least greater than the people to whom we tend to compare ourselves.

This is all gone. But it is not loss, as Jesus knows … and shows us.

In the surrender to love, for the sake of love, we throw ourselves into the Mystery of the Love who promises to raise us each time we fall, who assures that renewal and new life come exactly at the point where we seem to be losing what is most precious.

Jesus seeks to share this consciousness that is in him so that it might dwell also in us. Then, too, we can live each day with assurance, trusting the Divine Love who brings life out of death and new beginnings from ashes.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 9:35

So he [Jesus] sat down, called the Twelve to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all and servant of all.'


I don’t think this is quite true. I do not think we can make ourselves servants of all, transcending our culture’s fascination with winning and being number one.

Letting go of the need to make much of ourselves for others to admire is a lifelong occupation, and we cannot do it alone.

Every child is born into the world hungry for connection, for food and shelter, for love and belonging. We each belonged in our mother’s womb only to be separated, cast out, never ceasing to need intimate connection with a love that nestles and feeds us, warms and assures us that we are wanted and belong.

When family and friends, home and school fail to provide such safety and esteem we seek it in other ways, trying to get others to look at us--to see and admire us so we know we are important, that we matter.

In a culture that celebrates individual achievement as much as ours, we seek to excel, to do something, almost anything, that will make people take notice and validate our life, our value, our existence.

Only quiet souls, souls who know they are loved and treasured can look beyond the burning need within and surrender to others, giving themselves to each moment, gifting it with their presence.

Their inner need is at rest, stilled and at peace by the inner knowledge of Love that tells them they have nothing to prove.

The inner Voice of Love says more. Again and again it, whispers the awareness that the truly valuable thing we need to do is to be ourselves, giving that self to each moment.

For each of us is a unique expression of the One Love who made us as a partial expression of God, the Eternal Wonder who always is and is always Love.

Listen to the Voice, and be what you are, who you are, where you are. Do not seek to win, to impress or gain more attention than that which easily and naturally comes through the simple sharing of what is in you.

Breathe and know. You are enough, for the Eternal Wonder is in you seeking expression in ways only you can offer.

The beauty of your life is the beauty of the Life who is in you. Trust it. It is enough for you simply to share that which you are, for the life you bear is the life of the One who is Beauty Itself.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 8:34-35

He [Jesus] called the people and his disciples to him and said, 'If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. Anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.


This is not a terrible message. There is no dread here, but hope; however painful moments of loss, fear and change are for us.

No one wants to lose his life, the people and places to which we are most attached. We hold onto to things as they are, fearing the pain of letting go and entering a future we do not control.

The invitation of Jesus amid all such times is to trust, to trust more than we do, more than we believe we are capable of trusting. Trust and know.

Times of change and loss, of anxiety and uncertainty erode our ability to release our death-grip on what we have and all we think we need.

But every moment of life, and certainly our difficult moments, comes with the invitation to trust that every future lies in the hands of that Love that doesn’t let go of us, a Love who delights to bring resurrection, new life beyond the one to which we clutch.

“Let go, lose the life you have and trust me,” Jesus says. “Trust the divine Father who holds you and always will. That One opens doors you do not even see. But wait, you will.”

I remember meditating upon Jesus resurrection story in the Gospel of Mark several years ago. I imagined the scene in my mind’s eye for several days running, each day writing what I had seen.

Returning to those words now, I find great hope in Jesus words about losing my life for his sake. “Let go,” he says, “let go of all you think you need, all that you fear losing; trust, the way of the Spirit is the way of losing and finding, of dieing and rising.”

It is the way of letting go and letting God bring to my soul that which I need to live and breathe, love and know the Love for which my soul will always hunger--until the day I am fully enveloped in the Great Soul and my lifetime longing finds fulfillment that does not fade.

The image of resurrection which appeared in my long-ago meditations were of waves on the sea. Again and again, they lifted me, tossing me about, high and low then lifting again, joyously rolling me about until I laughed in sheer abandonment.

Drenched through, I was, with the awareness that nothing and no part of me is separated from the resurrected love of Jesus.

Soaked to the soul, I knew every moment is held, that I am held, in an eternal, all encompassing, restlessly joyous embrace.

Knowing this, there is no need to grasp the moment as if I must secure my future and its happiness. For Life awaits me on every hand, no matter what comes. Love will be there to fill the soul with tears, not of loss, but of unexpected joy.

That’s the promise of Jesus gospel. Trust and know. Always.

This is the only way to peace in a world where nothing is predictable and no future is controllable.

So we take up the cross of our lives, doing that which the Spirit has given us to do, giving up what is, what has been, what we now are, for what shall come, always knowing Life will come, and Love will fill our hearts.

Pr. David L. Miller