A series of biblical readings and prayers from David L. Miller, senior pastor of St. Timothy Lutheran Church, Naperville, IL. David is the former editor of The Lutheran magazine and Director of Spiritual Formation at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.
Now John had heard in prison what Christ was doing and he sent his disciples to ask him, 'Are you the one who is to come, or are we to expect someone else?' Jesus answered, 'Go back and tell John what you hear and see; the blind see again, and the lame walk,
those suffering from virulent skin-diseases are cleansed, and the deaf
hear, the dead are raised to life and the good news is proclaimed to the poor; and blessed is anyone who does not find me a cause of falling.' In truth I tell you, of all the children born to women, there has never been anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet the least in the kingdom of Heaven is greater than he.
Jesus sends the messengers of John the
Baptist back to John who is in prison: Tell them what you have seen and heard, he says.
The blind see, the dead are raised, the deaf hear and the poor hear they are
favored by God, who will never forget them.
John expected the Messiah to be a prophet of doom come to
judge the world and burn the wicked like chaff. He expected a powerful ruler. But
Jesus appears as a healer, who makes the broken whole, who restores us creation
to its beauty, who brings life to the hopeless.
Little wonder John doubted Jesus could be the Messiah, the
bringer of salvation.
John was great, Jesus says, but greater still are those who
have tasted the kingdom of heaven, who have tasted the union of their hearts with
the heart of God’s all-surpassing love. They know the healing and liberating
power of arriving at their true home, sharing union with God is who love and in
At Christmas, we hunger for home. We want to discover a place
in our souls where there is no separation between us and God, where great and
impassable love fills us.
We come to the manger where Jesus is laid, looking for home.
We kneel and look in once more to see the Love who refuses to let us go and to
feel that love in our deepest selves.
It is then that Christmas comes. It is then that Christ is
born. It is then that we are truly and finally … home.
Gaze on the love he is and know ... this is your true home. Pr. David L. Miller