Saturday, October 06, 2012

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Today’s text

Hebrews 1:1-3

At many moments in the past and by many means, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets; but in our time, the final days, he has spoken to us in the person of his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things and through whom he made the ages. He is the reflection of God's glory and bears the impress of God's own being, sustaining all things by his powerful command; and now that he has purged sins away, he has taken his seat at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high.


I stare sleepless at the ceiling of the bedroom; shadows from a street light fix my gaze on the far corner where wall meets wall and touches the ceiling. Sleep won’t come for some time.

So I lie still and watch as the blessings of my life appear in the dim light. They pass before me, and I am happy to be awakened at this early hour for no good reason except to see and pray.

My soul reaches out to the Great Soul who speaks in every blessing, my heart moved from within by a Spirit far greater than my own. Prayer comes too easily for it to be my creation. It flows from the Spirit who seeks me in the darkness of night.

And I understand: I am wanted far more than I can understand.

The God of heaven and earth seeks to be known. The Loving Mystery who speaks in all time and every space, including the small space of my mind and heart, calls me to know the Love that is ever for me, the Love who constantly wants and seeks me.

God hungers to be known by me, in the darkness and in the light, in the day and in the night, in the many and various ways God speaks, and certainly in the face of Jesus where what God says in other moments becomes more clear.

What moves me is that the desire of the Voice in the Night is so much like the desire of the human heart, my heart, to know and be taken in by the Love that fashions the worlds and cherishes them all. My soul is an image of the Great Soul who made the ages.

In the darkness, I see again the face of Jesus, the visible of image of the One who wakes me in the night, finding there a welcoming love who forgives the failures of my soul and invites to simply rest, breathe and know him.

And seeing, I am eager for the morning, knowing what awaits me every morning.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Today’s text

Psalm 8:3-6

I look up at your heavens, shaped by your fingers, at the moon and the stars you set firm- what are human beings that you spare a thought for them, or the child of Adam that you care for him? Yet you have made him little less than a god, you have crowned him with glory and beauty, made him lord of the works of your hands, put all things under his feet.


Again I wake into the world filled with wonder that I am, amazed that I breathe and have senses that fill me with delight in every season, and most certainly in autumn splendor.

At the core of faith, at least for me, is amazement at life, at the immensity of the cosmos and my own smallness. Staggered, I gaze into the night sky realizing this is my gift. I get to take in the vast sprinkling of the Milky Way, millions of stars dusting the clear night as loons call to each other across the darkness.

Light from millions of years ago finally touches my eyes after its cold journey through yawning reaches of space, delighting my heart, moving me to wonder what each one is like.

Wonder is closer yet, near as trees electric with golden light in the October morning, moving me to thanks that I might live on this tiny planet, at this place and this time to see this tree that reminds me once more how graced I am to know the colors of a single moment. Any moment, but most certainly this one.

Open your eyes and see. The world is a wonder. Life is a mystery and miracle no words can express. And love, love for this precious life and the loves we are given, who knows how it happens?

Who can point to the moment, to the word, the turn of head, the smile, the understanding glance and laughter that ignites the heart with the joy of knowing oneness with another?

It’s all wonder, our lives, this earth, the universe, the surprising experience of being alive … able to know and feel life within and around us. None of this can be taken for granted by people who did not create themselves or a single molecule of matter.

All that fills my senses on autumn mornings flows from an Infinite Source who loves life … and me. The stars tell me so. The loons’ haunting cries echo my prayer to know the nearness of this Love who speaks in night skies and autumn trees aglow as if lit from within.

This Love wears a face who was even more enamored of golden mornings than am I, the face of the Love Eternal who seeks me every morning, the face of Jesus.

Today, I join him in the wonder of living, knowing, feeling the One who speaks through it all.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' Then he embraced them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.


There is a time to receive and a time to give, a time be blessed and a time to bless.

I have reached the time to bless, the time to give, Jesus time. More on that in a moment.

One might object that it is always time to bless and give, just as it is always time to receive blessing and grace from others

Early in one’s life there is more blessing be received than given. It is the natural way of life, easily seen when we are children. We need to receive--food, clothing, teaching and encouragement. You get the idea.

Aging, we take on greater responsibility for ourselves and others--children, students, younger less experienced people at our jobs and in our professions. We pass on what we know; sharing the wisdom and grace we have received in living.

I recently had a birthday with a ‘0’ in it … 60.

The number doesn’t bother me at all, nor does having reached an age that I couldn’t imagine being when I was younger. I don’t look or feel anything like I imagined 60 would be.

In younger years, I thought of what it would be like to reach this age, but I didn’t think I would have this much energy or joy. I didn’t imagine the sense of purpose I feel or the anticipation of what is to come. I didn’t think I’d have this much desire to grow richer and deeper in mind and heart. I thought such growth in would largely be done. Not so.

The big change I notice is that I need less and want to give more.

I devoted so much … too much of my life to filling holes in my heart, proving I was competent, a worthwhile human being to be taken seriously. I was hungry for encouragement and affirmation, needing to know I was okay, accepted and acceptable. I needed a great deal approval and worked hard (ridiculously so) to earn it.

It was never enough. What I needed was to know … and accept … blessing, the blessing of love that cherished me, no matter if I was doing well or not.

There were those beloved hearts along the way who blessed me. Often, I treated their blessing as if it were something I earned (or needed to earn) by my efforts, not as a gift of grace from those--friends, family, spouse--who wanted only that I should be myself, the soul I am and receive the grace they gave.

Somewhere on the way to 60 (I am a slow learner) enough blessing has seeped into my heart that there are fewer holes in me that need filling.

I feel richer, more complete and full of the grace that is the substance of God’s own heart. I have certainly given much to others and blessed them in the course of my life and ministry. But I have reached a point where blessing others, not being blessed is primary.

Grace received has topped the reservoir of my heart and spills out more naturally. This is not an accomplishment but the consequence of receiving the grace and love God through prayer and from other lives for many years.

This is a very good and consoling place to be.

I know what Jesus felt when he took children into his arms and blessed them. He did not feel less. He did not feel depleted.

He experienced the loving grace of an Infinite Soul filling and flowing out him, raising smiles and beauty on the faces of others. And when he was done blessing them, he felt more full than when he started.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Today’s text

Mark 10:13-16

People were bringing little children to him, for him to touch them. The disciples scolded them, but when Jesus saw this he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. In truth I tell you, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' Then he embraced them, laid his hands on them and gave them his blessing.


Many times this story excited craving and brought tears to my eyes. I yearned to be the child Jesus blessed.

I was that child. I hungered for the blessing of his hands. There were wounds old and new crying out to be tenderly touched. My heart longed for Jesus’ gentle welcome.

Savoring this story, I saw his hands reach out to touch and bless me, to receive me into the arms of divine love. As he did, peace flowed into over hidden crevices of my soul where wounds festered, wounds from feeling unwelcome in so many places and occasions of my life. Healing came, at least for the time of meditation.

I remember those days and wonder why this day is different. Tears pool at the corners of my eyes, but the emotion is not as intense now. My need is less. My soul is quieter, placid, lacking the agitation once stirred by this little story of blessing.

Is this a lack, a loss? Maybe. Maybe my heart has grown apathetic, having lost its zeal. But then maybe not.

Maybe my anxious need has subsided because my heart has received enough love and grace to still the needy craving of my heart.

Maybe my heart can rest, no longer crazy hungry for the next graced moment when Jesus welcome breaks through because my heart finally ‘gets it.’

I have felt the embrace that received the children receiving me so many times and in so many ways that I know I am forever wanted and welcome by the Love that has haunted me from the earliest days of my life.

Today, I look at the story again. I see the open arms of Jesus, his arms enfolding me, his hands touching my head, and I know he welcomes me and wants me and always will.

I need not hurry into those arms as if starved for what every human heart needs. I am one who knows, thanks be to God. So, I step quietly toward him, and my heart rests in quiet knowing.

Pr. David L. Miller