Saturday, January 05, 2013
Indeed, from his fullness we have, all of us, received -- one gift replacing another,
All. No one is left out. All that that is came into being from the Source who fills the heart and words of Jesus, the passion of God made flesh.
At our core, too, lies that sparkling diamond of divine life, that divine spark which gives us life, yet awaits the cleansing of all that obscures its beauty.
The fullness that bubbles from the being of Jesus is not his alone, for all we who have life share in this fullness, bearing the image and likeness of the One who has no name, the Mystery who is Love.
This is who we are, and the contradictions of our lives, the pains and self-doubt all start … one way or another … when we lose track of our being … of the Mystery of Love who gives life and is our truest self.
For each of us … and all we see … is the breathing of Being Itself, the overflow of grace and gift from the Infinite we cannot grasp.
I sat yesterday and watched a flock of birds against a sparkling blue sky. They cut right and rose, turning quickly and disappeared at great speed beyond a grove of trees, only to be followed by a smaller flock rising against the blue.
My heart filled with love and peace at what I saw, hearing and knowing the Source of Life call my name in their beauty and teaching my heart that the life and beauty I see is my Source, too.
I have received being without asking, and in this simple awareness I know what the Heart of God is: the Heart of Being in joy pours out, a fountain of life whose pleasure and delight is the dark shadow of birds on against an brilliant sky … and the surge of love for life this evokes from a silent place in my depths that belongs to God alone.
I taste Life and Love complete and full, knowing the fullness of my brother Jesus and the fullness for which I am intended … and which in eternity will be mine and all.
The moment is an intuition of eternity on a cold January afternoon. More: it is a vision of the Life who is the life of all things … from whom we have all received.
Knowing … the life of the birds … the Heart of my heart … joy is the only possible response.
Pr. David L. Miller
Friday, January 04, 2013
John 1:14, 18
The Word became flesh, he lived among us, and we saw his glory, the glory that he has from the Father as only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
No one has ever seen God; it is the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known.
Where do you sit?
Few of us sit much at all, unless we are older or not well, and when we do sitting is something we are forced to do if only to rest so that we can go again.
The value in sitting is to allow us to run back into busy lives with greater energy. The value in just sitting is missed.
When we do not sit, the soul cannot grow deep and wise, calm and focused, knowing truth. Depth comes as we sit in the presence of holiness, our souls quiet and receptive as the grace of eternity opens our depths and communes with us there, opening the fountain of grace and truth.
I remember a friend from decades ago, Ken, who quietly spoke to me after a song was done playing on the stereo. Daylight was fading as the sun hung low in the west, and his face revealed the music had moved him deep inside of himself.
“I don’t spend enough time listening to music,” he said.
I knew what he meant. He didn’t spend enough time sitting and listening to his heart, to hear himself, his deepest wants and needs … and to hear the Other Heart who indwells us.
That Heart would fill his interior being with loving peace and beauty of soul as he found time and space to sit in the Presence of the holiness.
Jesus offers a picture of sitting in the Presence. He dwells close to the heart of the Father, sitting in close communion that the holy fire of God’s heart sets him aglow.
We are invited to sit close to him, to hear his words, to be warmed by the substance of his heart and to let the glow of his soul saturate our own, awakening the Heart within our own heart who emerges to flow through us with grace and truth.
The invitation is to dwell near Jesus that we may know what he knows, … make that Who he knows. We are to know that Who not as external reality but internal dwelling. Then, we shall stand in the same happy relationship with the One who is Love as he does.
We will know that One at the center of our souls. And when we quiet our hearts … listening to music, walking in nature, sharing conversation with a trusted friend we will move from the outer edges of our lives to the center, the heart, where we know this One.
And as we do, we realize again that we spend too little time … just sitting and knowing.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, January 03, 2013
He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognize him. He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself.
Children of God may not look like they have power, but they have the greatest power of all, the power of knowing.
They possess soul knowledge that they are, in fact, children of God.
They belong, always and forever. They need not prove anything to anyone, seek approval from faces past or present or achieve something great in the constant human struggle to find significance.
They can breathe and rest assured in the arms of a love that refuses to let them go.
They know who they are and the love that is always true, which frees and empowers them to listen to their depths and discover the wonder of the person they are. They can begin to live according to internal rhythms of heart not external demands of others.
Soul knowledge is not an idea one holds in your head, but deep awareness of a truth that fills your being and brings peace. It calms the mind and quiets the anxious ego that drives so much human behavior.
Soul knowledge resides not in the mind but in the whole body, in one’s entire being.
It slows our speech and allows us to respond slowly to what is happening in and around us instead of reacting knee-jerk to each person, situation or provocation. It takes a long view and knows the will that is Love will unfold in its own time.
Soul knowledge grants depth of being, integrating our inner and outer worlds, so that we choose what to say and do, instead of being driven by whims of the moment or the expectations and demands of others.
It allows us to speak and act from our depth not merely from the top of our head or the immediate rush of emotion that can flood and overwhelm us.
Coming to soul knowledge that one is a child of God is a lifelong process of learning and growing. There are set backs and sometimes great leaps forward.
The process always involves accepting what is in Jesus, who bears the mind and passion of God.
Accepting Jesus has nothing to do with affirming or believing in doctrinal statements about him. It is not about learning creeds or professing them on Sunday morning.
It is about coming to know what is in him by listening to him and those who truly belong to him. It is seeing the depth of compassion on his face when he encountered human suffering and need, hunger and pain. It is watching as he blessed the broken and welcomed children.
It is listening to stories about prodigals who are welcomed, about the poor who are blessed and the mourning who know the comfort of a loving promise not even death can break.
It is possible to learn what is in Jesus without ever knowing about him since the mystery of God can be found throughout all creation. God is never silent and nowhere absent.
Those who welcome the substance of what is in Jesus, the substance of his love found in those who truly know him, come to soul knowledge of what the soul most needs to live, assured of that love that will not let them go.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
He was in the world that had come into being through him, and the world did not recognize him. He came to his own and his own people did not accept him. But to those who did accept him he gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in his name who were born not from human stock or human desire or human will but from God himself
We step into a new year, hoping it will bring a new beginning, fresh and free from the encumbrances that weighed us down for the past 12 months … or longer.
We hope to be new, changed, better, happier. “Pray for me,” a man said as he knelt before me at a prayer station on a recent Sunday. “I want to be a better man.”
Such is our hope and desire though we often want this to come with as little pain or effort as possible. But this is not a day to carp about our weakness or the resistance to growth that hinders our efforts
This is a day to step into a new space, and the space that awaits today and each new day is that gracious circle around Jesus. It is a space of welcome and peace where what you have done or not doesn’t matter today.
All that matters is his unqualified invitation to come and be near him. The prayer of the young man at the prayer station finds its answer there.
Newness comes through a bit of cooperation. We need to step into the gracious circle around Jesus and let his nearness work its ways in us.
Newness comes in ways and at a time we do not control but only receive. It starts with getting near the heart of Jesus, feeling the atmosphere of total welcome that surrounds him, the hunger of the love that pours from hidden depths of his soul.
It is there … in this space … that newness of heart and life come. It is not magic, although it feels that way sometimes. It happens for us the same way it happened at the beginning of Jesus ministry.
Curious souls, hurting hearts, people who wanted to be new--who wanted the whole world to be made new--came to Jesus to listen and to see what was in him. They were welcomed into a circle of watching and seeing, listening and learning, loving and failing but never being cast aside.
They were welcomed in the fullness of their humanity, and as they were with Jesus their hearts were changed and minds reshaped.
Their hearts opened like flowers in springtime as they began to feel and know within themselves the Loving Mystery who filled him. They discovered that they, too, carried that Holy One, within.
The kingdom of God was within them, but they didn’t know it until they had dwelt a time with Jesus.
But knowing, their hearts changed, their convictions and commitments shifted, their hungers and passions were reshaped so that they wanted nothing more than to live from this indwelling of God, which appeared within them as they lived in the circle around Jesus.
Now we step into a new year, perhaps with a resolution or two, but also with the invitation to step into the space around Jesus. We enter as we read his words and let them jangle around in us, praying and offering to God whatever random thoughts and feelings appear.
We quiet ourselves on walks or in a private space hoping to hear that Voice that is his speaking in our depths, telling us what our hearts need to know
We find ways to receive the sacraments of his presence, entering those places and talking to those people that awaken our hearts to the love he is. As we do, this love flowers within us bringing peace and a more spacious open way of living.
And newness comes, as gift and grace.
Pr. David L. Miller