Monday, November 23, 2015

Monday, Nov. 23, 2015

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 

Of joy and pies

We are most like ourselves when we give. We are most like God when we share our souls in gifts from the heart.

A pie was sitting on my chair after Sunday worship. The giver was running a pie sale in the narthex of the church. The sale went well but better was the look on the sellers face when he told me there was a pie waiting for me on my office chair.

He also gave pies for other staff members and set several aside for a reception before the Thanksgiving Eve worship service. I appreciate the pies, although my waistline suggests that are contraindicated.

But much more I appreciate the man, and more: I am moved by what moves him.

Joy filled his smile as he scurried about delivering the sweet bounty. It felt good to give. His face told me so. He was having a good time. His heart was light, made so by being able to give.

Giving satisfies the soul. True, it can be done arrogantly or in ways that demean those who receive. But not for this man on this day.

The good pies came from a good heart made glad by giving without expectation of some quid pro quo where he would get something back. And his joy is the joy of God, the joy of human nature fulfilled.

Made in the image of God our inner nature finds fulfillment in giving, in blessing, in sharing, in loving in the manner of the Great Love God is.

Joy happens when our inner nature is fulfilled, when we are acting according to our identity as the image and likeness of God whose giving knows no ending.

The early theologians spoke of the Holy Trinity as a dance of self-giving Love. They described the Father as the Originating Source of all, the Giver. They called the Son of God the Gift of Love from the Father, calling the Spirit the ongoing Giving of God in the world and the souls of women and men.

The Love God is flows from the Giver as Gift and as unending Giving, a river of grace and Love that flows, truly, through all time and space.

When we give (yes, even pies) we jump into the divine flow, the river of grace, the stream of mercy and know ourselves … and God ... more fully than we ever thought possible.

Pr. David L. Miller

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