Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thursday, January 23, 2013

Today’s text

Matthew 4:17-22
From then onwards Jesus began his proclamation with the message, 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.' As he was walking by the Lake of Galilee he saw two brothers, Simon, who was called Peter, and his brother Andrew; they were making a cast into the lake with their net, for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Come after me and I will make you fishers of people.' And at once they left their nets and followed him. Going on from there he saw another pair of brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John; they were in their boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. And at once, leaving the boat and their father, they followed him.


Sometimes I sit in my favorite basement chair early in the morning, and I read. I read a few verses and I try to see it.

For some reason, it is easy to see these verses: Jesus walking by a lakeshore. He walks alone and sees two fishermen. “Come with me. I will show you how to fish for people,” he says.

They look at each other, brush off their hands, jump off the boat and follow him.

I have often wondered why they did so. Were they tired of fishing? Were they sick of their family? Did they want to get away from the old man telling them what to do?

Did they have empty heart that needed to be filled? Or maybe they had emotional or physical wounds they thought this strange man, Jesus, could heal.

But as I see this scene … and feel what might have been in them as they dropped their nets to follow … I don’t think they went after him to fill some inner emptiness or to heal their wounds.

I feel fascination. I feel excitement, a hunger for adventure, a desire to go and see.

Something about Jesus fascinated them so that they wanted to be near him. Something made them want to know what it was like to spend time with him, to see what he saw, to feel what he felt, to be part of his work and mission.

They did not go after him to fix something negative in their lives, but to become part of something positive, something unknown and exciting, something that ignited their sense of adventure and willingness to take a journey to new places and experiences.

There was just something about Jesus they wanted to be near.

As I sit in my chair and imagine, I see and feel the scene; I get it.

As I see them get up and follow Jesus, there is nothing else I want to do than to be there, with him, seeing and feeling him.

His presence in the quiet of the basement room opens my mind and heart to possibilities for living a life that is free and beautiful, a life of adventure where each day is new and filled with possibilities to bless and be blessed.

Sitting in my chair, I know why they got up and left their boats, not knowing where hey were going or what would happen.

They just wanted to be with the mystery of whomever and whatever he was … because being with him was better than being anywhere else.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Tuesday January 21, 2014

Today’s text

Matthew 4:17

From then onwards Jesus began his proclamation with the message, 'Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is close at hand.'


How close is your kingdom, O Lord?

Every day I wake to a where the innocent and even infants fall to outrageous fates of disease and hardship, where the curse of war and the obscenity of hunger destroy whole societies.

We see it and pray in our sanctuaries, “they kingdom come,” often not knowing that it for these--the hungry, the broken, the forgotten that we are praying, not just for the grace of your nearness to rule in our hearts.

We pray for the world,  also little knowing that the kingdom is not far off culmination but a present reality in the midst of that broken world, a presence that is always near, always here, always waiting to be acknowledged and entered.

For the kingdom from heaven has come to earth and is present here.

It is not definable in geographic terms. It is not here or there. It is wherever you are, and you are near to all, but always as possibility, waiting to be acknowledged and received and entered.

The kingdom appears each time your justice and mercy is received so that it begins to transform human lives and relationships, cultures and societies.

Like a mustard seed, it seems small, but rooted in the soul of created life it grows into a great and beautiful tree giving shade and rest, coolness in the heart of the day, its leaves cleansing the foul air of human bitterness and discord.

The kingdom is wherever you are, Holy One, and you are here telling me once more to open my eyes and ears to see and hear the kingdom of your mercy and justice in the sounds of the day, beckoning me receive to enter once more.

Pr. David L. Miller