Thursday, November 28, 2013
Advent directs our eyes beyond the bumps and bruises of the day, beyond momentary successes and satisfactions to the big picture--to the fulfillment of God’s dream.
Some have called it the Cosmic Christ, which is actually for what we pray in Advent. There is no need to pray for the gentle Christ to come in our human flesh. We have seen and know him there. The sight still moves our hearts to love and deep affection for him and the heart of God he reveals.
Now, when we pray, Come, Lord Jesus we pray for the completion of all our lives and of all life. We pray that the wonder of Christ might become the reality of our lives and all creation.
The wonder of Jesus, the Christ, is that in him a mortal, flesh and blood human being dwells in utter union with the heart and mind of God. The Loving Mystery from whom all creation flows fills this man’s heart and mind, so that he becomes transparent to the Mysterious Source of all life.
In him we see that this Source is Creative Love beyond imagining, a Love who hungers to fill us and all life, so that we and all things become as Christ, a union of divine Spirit and created matter.
It sounds complex, and it is profound, but it is not far from us, for we have seen in others and felt in our hearts moments of complete and utter union when Love Itself fills us, every fear dissipates and love and gratitude flows from our pours into the life of the world around us.
We have seen and felt this! We have known what it is to say with utter simplicity and total joy, THANK YOU!
It may last but a moment, but in that moment we know and feel the Cosmic Christ. We are part of the Cosmic Christ, as our frame is filled by God, even as Jesus was.
This is the big picture, what Jesus calls the Kingdom of God. This is the holy dream God is working every day, seeking every opening in our hearts and minds, every opening in creation, to pour out the divine heart so that everything is incorporated into Christ, and all things become one harmonious and loving whole.
This is God’s holy dream, revealed in the unity of flesh and Spirit in Jesus, the Christ.
All we do--our prayers and work, our words and values--are to be aimed at fulfillment of God’s dream.
Advent directs our eyes to this completion of life. It ignites hunger to be filled ourselves and to see creation filled and healed. Just so, we pray: Come, Lord Jesus.
Pr. David L. Miller
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Advent begins at the pit of your stomach where you long from something or someone to complete you, to fill the emptiness in your inner being and obliterate the longing for something more.
Advent is this hunger for more.
It begins with awareness that you and this broken, tear-stained world are incomplete and unfinished. Awareness awakens desire and hope for the more to come fill the empty places and heal the division and discord that scars creation.
But from where is the fullness that fills our being to come, the healing that salves the world’s wounds and brings peace?
I lift my eyes to the hills, the psalmist writes, from where is my help to come? My help comes from the Lord, the One who made heaven and earth … and me.
Just so, we pray, come Lord Jesus. Come from eternity into time. Come to us. We were made in you and for you. We are not complete until we enter utter unity with you. Only then will our hearts rest in the peace of home, knowing we have arrived at the place for which you intend us.
With all creation, we yearn for the marriage of God and creation, the union of mortal flesh with divine substance. The completion of creation and of our mortal lives is found in the intimate bonding of our being with the God who is love and nothing but.
This blessed union appeared in Jesus, which is why we call him the Christ. He is the marriage of mortal flesh and the heart of God. He is the fullness for which we hunger.
Our longing is not simply to look upon his beauty and be moved to wonder and praise. This alone is great joy, but the more for which we hunger is to be as he is, a unity of mortal and divine life. This marriage of created matter and the heart of God is our completion and the world’s healing.
And so we pray with fervor and hope, “Come, Lord Jesus. Come to us. Come to our world and keep on coming until you fill us and all that is. Keep coming until all that is empty and incomplete is healed and whole.”
This is our Advent prayer, a prayer that is answered and will be answered until the end of time when there is no more need to pray it.
Christ is being born in a thousand ways and labors to be born also in you. The miracle of the manger happens all the time, every day, which is why the Advent admonition is, “Watch, stay awake.” For, our heart’s desire comes to us.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I can feel the drawing, the desire of those who come to Zion. It is in me, the deepest part of me. Call it soul, I suppose, or awareness. It is hard to describe and impossible to define.
There is part of me, of everyone, who can stand back and look at the parade of emotions and experiences that occupy the conscious mind, realizing that those emotions and experiences are not me, certainly not the center of who I am.
The center is this one who can stand apart and observe all that it is going on in me, aware it is something more and different from the thicket of fleeting thoughts, experiences and feelings that distract the mind each day.
This center is greater, free and not defined by the driven, busy parts of consciousness needed to navigate through the day.
It is here, at this center, that I feel the desire of the nations to come to Zion, to come home, walking as a pilgrim to the place where I may sit in silence before the Source of Wisdom, the Fountain of Justice, the Origin of my Soul.
The desire to come to the place where Yahweh speaks emanates from the center, the soul, the deepest part of me where I hunger for union with God, the Source, the Fountain, the Origin of all that is.
Only in this union am I completely at home and in peace. Only there do I know myself.
Mystics of the Christian tradition (others, too) suggest the center, the apex of the soul, is the reality of God within us. There is no end of the metaphors for this.
Some say the soul is a plant that grows from the ground of God. Others say it is the God-seed planted within us. Others suggest the soul is a Word spoken by God from eternity into time, a partial of expression of divine life. Still others compare it to a coin, one side of which is an expression of God dwelling in this world, and the other side is the unseen mystery of Yahweh, himself.
Interesting thought, for it suggests that the home we seek, the pilgrimage we make to Zion to hear God speak, is an internal journey from the edges of who we are to our center where we also meet God.
God draws us home, to that deepest soul, Zion, the mountain of Yahweh where we are aware we are not the parade of emotions, ideas and experiences that fill us every day and too-often define us.
We are expressions of God’s own heart and mind intended for loving communion with the Mystery we each bear.
In this holy communion, we become, finally, human.
Pr. David L. Miller