Saturday, October 27, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Today’s text

Psalm 46:8-10

Come, consider the wonders of the Lord, the astounding deeds he has done on the earth; he puts an end to wars over the whole wide world, he breaks the bow, he snaps the spear, shields he burns in the fire. 'Be still and acknowledge that I am God, supreme over nations, supreme over the world.'


Stillness is our strength. Quiet is our might. Breathing, just breathing we find fullness of heart and silent joy filling every inner space.

Such fullness is a great and holy gift we receive only when the efforts of our minds and hands fall quiet, and the ears of our heart turn inward, listening for the great inner silence from which the Soul of the Universe speaks in our souls.

This great inner silence patiently waits for us to end our chatter and endless doing. It waits for us to stop and listen, to hear what we need to know.

The Great Soul of God speaks echoes silently in our souls, speaking the constant Presence of unrelenting life and unfailing love:

“There is nothing to fear. I am here … always. Listen. Let the stillness fill you with knowledge of the Soul I Am, and your soul will fear no more.

“Wait in silence, and I will come to you. You will know me nearer than your breath, deeper within than your own heart, inseparable from your own being, for I am the stream of life that flows from eternity through all that is, giving life to all … and you.

“Be still and know. I cannot and will not forsake you, for I am Love and Love never turns away. You may turn away, but I am ever there, present within and beyond you, speaking the truth of your life that is my life within you.

"Be still and know the treasure you bear.

"Be still and know. All is well.

"Be still."

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, October 26, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

Today’s text

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples; you will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


I am still coming to know and always will be. There is no point of final arrival. There are resting places on the way, but only to catch one’s breath and gather up what one ‘knows’ of the mystery of Christ.

And then we continue. The spiritual life is a gracious and loving journey as long as one is content always to be a beginner, always staring again, always knowing you know only a little. You possess but the slightest knowledge of a Mystery who far transcends anything we can think or fell.

But we do know and feel the love of God at the inner point of connection where our own souls and the Divine Soul meet--that inner point we cannot reach or touch but which we know is there, present and truly us.

This knowledge is utterly different from anything gotten from a book, from a teacher, from anything our hands or minds can grasp through great effort.

Knowing the truth is feeling the love of Christ awakening at that point of depth, of soul, where a Great Soul comes and fills you with a knowing of the Love who cerhishes every atom of this universe and totally accepts, treasures and hungers for you to be home, at rest and peace, knowing … knowing … just knowing love and nothing but love filling you.

Then you will know the truth, and it will set you free.

There may only be moments of utter knowing in this life. But the moments come, and they come more often and freely when we accept Jesus invitation to come to him to know, hear, feel be touched by what is in him.

In knowing him, you will come to know the truth that frees … and the final resting place of your soul when your time here is done.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Today’s text

John 8:31-32

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said: If you make my word your home you will indeed be my disciples; you will come to know the truth, and the truth will set you free.


Freedom is what the truth does in us. It makes us free. If a word does not give freedom to our souls, it is not a true word, a word that bears the soul of Jesus to our soul.

For, the soul of Jesus is the soul of freedom, the soul of knowing the first and final truth of his life and ours.

God’s eternal invitation is to put ourselves inside and who and what he is that we may know who we are.

Come to me, he says. Lay down inside the truth that is in me. Live there for a while; your heart will grow large. You will come alive and bask in a truth that has always been there but which you may have never known.

So it is.

A young person sits on my couch, confirmation essay in hand, sharing what little they have learned of Christian faith through years of confirmation teaching. But their words and stories bear so much more than anything their young minds are able to put on paper.

I listen and hear the graces of their lives. I hear the beauty of love in their hearts, the passions that draw them closer to whatever it is they will become and the small acts of true goodness and strength that are not small at all.

I hear and see, and I bless them with the grace that is already in them, a grace they barely glimpse, if at all.

There are wonders in you, I tell them, and play their own words back to them so they cannot deny it or act as if I am telling them something false.

There are gifts in your soul that you did not seek, I say. You didn’t even know they are there. You are marvelous, graced with divine beauty and grace seeking to push out of your every pore.

I tell them the truth of what I see and hear in them.

Sometimes their faces get red, embarrassed however slightly, as they look at me with eyes that say, “You see that in me?”

Yes, dear child, I think but do not say, and so much more that you cannot understand right now.

But they hear me. No, more than me.

They have heard words of truth, words from the soul of Jesus about a Love that loves them and lives in them, a Love who gives them gifts that they may be the gift they are to the rest of us, so that we, too, may know the first and final truth.

We are Love’s children, Love’s treasured vessels, bearing the beauty of the One who hungers to live through all.

Breathe free, my children and release the Love you bear.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday, October 24, 2102

Today’s text

Matthew 5:1-7
Seeing the crowds, he [Jesus] went onto the mountain. And when he was seated his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them: How blessed are the poor in spirit: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. Blessed are the gentle: they shall have the earth as inheritance. Blessed are those who mourn: they shall be comforted. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness: they shall have their fill. Blessed are the merciful: they shall have mercy shown them.


He was rude and crude. Sarcasm laced nearly every sentence, and he is among the most cynical people I have known.

“Money, it’s all about money,” he shouted when we talked about the wars and conflicts going on around us. “They’re fighting about money!” and then he’d swear again.

His name was Bob Koepp. Bob was the logistics coordinator in the Lutheran World Federation World Service office in Nairobi, Kenya, during the 1990s. He organized food convoys, dozens of trucks long, and sent them off on southern Sudan’s dirt roads with the hope they wouldn’t get confiscated by government troops.

He also ran a mini-airline of six or seven C-130s flying each day from Nairobi and Mombasa, Kenya, to a half dozen cities and towns in Somalia, carrying food and supplies to refugees scattered around north east Africa—who were starving to death at alarming rates.

From his dingy office, this blustery, obese, diabetic man with a heart ready to blow its third and final infarction kept hundreds of thousands of people alive. You could admire him, as long as you didn’t get too close to his tirades.

I hadn’t thought of him in years, but conversation with a couple of our confirmation students brings him to mind.

Bob wasn’t a nice guy. He wasn’t pleasant or all that friendly, although he had his moments. But he certainly was a saint. He gave himself to the mission of Christ in the world.

He may have believed that money is the only real human motivation, but his life contradicted his own cynical view. He worked tirelessly to feed people much of the world was trying to ignore, and he certainly wasn’t getting rich doing it.

I will be thinking of Bob during the next couple of weeks as 18 of our youth affirm their faith. They will make bold promises to proclaim the good news of God in Christ, to serve all people, following Jesus example, and to strive for justice in peace.

The following week we will celebrate All Saints Day, remembering and giving thanks for those saints in our lives who lived the love of Christ and graced our path, showing us how to live.

Normally, we think being Christian somehow involves ‘being nice’ to people, as more than one confirmands’ final essay suggested. Most often, we think of saints, whether the great ones of history or our own saints—grandmothers, uncles and neighbors—as ‘nice people.’

There is truth there. This past weekend we celebrated the lives of two remarkable people who have left us and entered the perpetual light of God’s love. Both were ‘nice’ I suppose. Their souls carried enough of the love of God to move us to awareness that we are special--loved, treasured and safely held in a Love who will never let us go.

God’s saints do that. They are transparent to the Love that transcends us all. They tell us we are wanted and wonderful. They convince our doubting hearts that we are marvelous, for they see the beauty and grace, strength and goodness in us that we fail to notice, and downplay when we do.

For years, I have tried to fill a great hole in my heart, and I have understood ministry as finding and filling that aching hole in the hearts of others, so that it may be filled with the love that transcends every expectation we have, a love so great that it withstands anything life might throw at us.

Our saints give us that.

But they also move us beyond ourselves to go and live the wonder of love and knowledge, skill and warmth that is in us, for the world badly needs it.

The mission of the church, our mission, moves us beyond merely being nice, beyond merely saying we believe certain things and beyond ourselves.

The saints shows us the passionate love of God we most need--and then point to the world’s crying need, which is why on All Saints Day I will light several candles, one in thanks for Bob Koepp.

Pr. David L. Miller