A series of biblical reflections and prayers from David L. Miller, pastor of faith formation at 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.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
A certain creditor had
two debtors; one owed five hundred denarii,
and the other fifty. When they could not pay, he cancelled the debts for both
of them. Now which of them will love him more?’ Simon answered, ‘I suppose the
one for whom he cancelled the greater debt.’ And Jesus said to him, ‘You have judged rightly.’ Then
turning towards the woman, he said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I entered
your house; you gave me no water for my feet, but she has bathed my feet with
her tears and dried them with her hair. You gave me no kiss, but from the time
I came in she has not stopped kissing my feet. You did not anoint my head with
oil, but she has anointed my feet with ointment. Therefore, I tell you, her
sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love.
From Love to love
Grace is everywhere. When it hits you your heart flies free
in gratitude and love. Resentments and pains disappear, and you know the joy of
being alive … and the heart of God.
Grace is the experience of love flowing to and through you.
It is the height of human fulfillment, what God wants for us and seeks to give.
Looking up the street late on a rainy afternoon, I sit in a
café, glass of red wine in hand, watching the cars work their way up and down
Washington Street, mostly on their way home, I suppose.
Something about the scene moves me. I do not know what or
why; I know only that there is love and gratitude in me--and eagerness to bless
my waiter and anyone else who passes by for the beauty of this moment.
I just had another birthday, and my mind wanders among
places and scenes from past decades of a startling life in which I have seen felt
things I never thought I’d know … .
The blessing of it all fills me, and I know: All that has
been and will be is encompassed by God, which is to say … by Love, the love I
have known and which surrounds and regularly saves me from myself … and from
despair over failures and shortcomings of which I am weekly reminded.
Even the grainy sky and wet streets weighted low beneath the
grayness of this fall day speaks love to my heart and fills me.
And my prayer is one of thanks that your love, O God, comes
to an aging sinner like me, thanks that you make no discriminating exceptions
but come to the hearts of the undeserving and virtuous alike, bringing joy and
gratitude for all the life and love I have ever known. Thank you.
There is an inevitable connection between Love and love. The
Loved …love. Those whose hearts have been found by the One who is Love are
awakened and made alive.
And all they … all we want is to bask in the Love that sets
us free to bless and love and give ourselves away.
There are not many loves in this world, but only one. The Love
we know in every love is the One who is Love, the one revealed in the gracious
welcome of Jesus.
The woman who kisses Jesus’ feet in joy and gratitude is all
of us, captured by the grace of the One who comes in words of forgiveness and
on rainy autumn afternoons.