Friday, February 28, 2014
Listen to him. Just listen.
And what do you say to us, blessed friend? “Stand up. Do not fear.”
I fear hours of wasted study by countless preachers will yield a load of glib ax grinding against those three disciples who followed Jesus up the mountain and saw him transfigured in brilliant light.
For decades, small-minded preachers have ranted about Jesus disciples who wanted to build comfortable places for them to live up on the mountain, trying to save this experience with Jesus.
Well, why not? Why not want to be there with you, my friend, lifted above life’s routine, seeing your light and feeling the divine presence in you?
The disciples saw you as you are, one with the Loving Mystery of God, and they were filled with wonder, and yes, with fear at a voice that came from the depth of the universe naming you as eternal Son, beloved.
They wanted to stay there, but they cannot because, as the ax-wielding preachers tell us, the disciples don’t understand you cannot live on the mountain. You have to go live in the valley where life is hard.
And once again, we are told with great authority that the disciples fail to understand Jesus, and they fear the voice that tells them to listen to Jesus.
But what is missed is your divine response to human fear, Jesus. There is no denunciation, no condemnation, no call to repent, no castigation for their ignorance or failure.
There is only a touch … and assurance, “Stand up. Do not fear.”
The Holy Mystery, speaking in the cloud, commands us to listen to the voice of loving assurance, to an invitation to live beyond our fears, to live the love we know in the touch of our brother, Jesus, and the voice of his assurance.
Jesus leads his followers down the mountain into the messy cross currents of powers that seek his destruction. He goes to reveal the depth of divine love and commitment proclaimed from the cross that will kill him.
Listen to him. Listen to the word spoken in his suffering and death.
Listen to the word spoken in his resurrection, “I am with you always to the end of the age.”
Listen to him saying, in way or another, “Do not be afraid. Stand and walk.”
Stand and walk into your life knowing a great love holds you.
Stand and walk into difficult places ready to share the healing touch of Jesus.
Stand and walk with compassion into a hungry world where hurts abound.
Stand and walk with Jesus words in your heart and his touch on your soul.
Listen. Just listen to what he is saying.
Pr. David L. Miller
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Touch us this, day, Jesus.
Touch us with the love that won’t let us go.
Touch us that our sadness may dissolve in the gentle rain of your grace.
Touch us that our weary souls may feel fresh and new.
Touch us that hope may burn away the dejection of despair.
Touch us that certainty and resolve may overwhelm our doubts and fears.
Touch us that joy and expectation may fill us at the gift of this day.
Touch us that energy and strength may replace fatigue and weakness.
Touch us that that the negative voices noise in our head may be silenced.
Touch that we may hear the deep inner voice where you speak.
Touch us that our distracted minds may see the beauty of your face.
Touch us that and our scattered energies may serve your purpose.
Touch us that we may feel and know ourselves once more.
Touch us and fill our neediness with your peace
Touch us, Jesus.
Touch us with the love that never lets us go.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Listen to him: “Stand up, do not be afraid.”
These are the first words you speak, Jesus, after the mysterious voice from the cloud directs us to you. Stand up, you say, do not be hindered by fears of what will happen or what others may think or do in response.
What should stand up is us, who we truly are, sharing our deepest loves and hopes, even the hidden ones, and the beauties you awaken in us, sometimes even surprising us at the depth of what is within.
It is this depth of soul that you invite to stand without fear. Stand up and do not fear the pain or unrest you might cause, for the pain of denying your soul is greater
It is fear that holds us back, fear of consequences, fear of others opinions, fear of being who and what we are, fear of claiming the freedom that lies always within our grasp.
We do not want to feel this fear. Consequently, we fail to fly, to soar to the heights of love and grace to which the Spirit of your love would propel us.
And coming to the end of life, our deepest regret is knowing that we never fully lived because we were afraid.
Gracious One, save us from this regret. Save us from half-loves and lives half lived.
And save the world, too, from being denied what you give through us when, despite our fears, we heed your voice and stand up
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, February 24, 2014
Can I trust you? Isn’t that the question here, Lord?
Can I trust that the empty and unfilled places in my life will find what they need because you know me and you know what I need?
You know me. These words stop me and bring immediate comfort.
You know me, and you love what you know of me--and it is your desire that the heart of my heart be filled with the love and peace for which you fashioned me.
But I can trust this?
Many lose faith altogether because they prayed for their heart’s desire and it did not come. Their prayers fell to the earth yielding nothing, at least nothing they could see, nothing that lifted the burden from their hearts.
What can I say to them or even to myself on days the heart feels lost or alone and unfulfilled, when you wonder if it all matters?
How can we maintain simple trust that we are known and that what is needed will come even though it seems unlikely or impossible?
There is only one way I know: To come here, to light a candle of hope again and watch it burn, to pour out the contorted, confusing tangle that is my and every human heart … and when all is said to rest in the promise that you know … me.
These words are a mantra for every day: You know. You know me.
You invite me to rest them … and to know, even as I am known.
Pr. David L. Miller