Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
I have a favorite image of Ethan, my youngest grandson. He is seven, getting bigger. But still not too big to curl up to his mother, my daughter, and fold himself into her side. He will read there or play a game.
Folded into each other they are like one person, an exquisite unity of love and comfort, together.
Sometimes Ethan does the same thing with his big brother Ben, and he almost always takes Ben’s hand as they walk down the street. Brothers as one.
It touches me, Jesus, not so much because it is sweet, but because I see in them the union of love that you intend for all things. They are a picture of mutual affection, joined in love, a snap shot of final fulfillment, the loving communion in you into which you draw all that is and all we are.
They show me the life I am to live, the love I am to love… starting with you. It is the only place this life can start for you are the Love that bids me to come and fold myself into your side.
“Come find yourself in the Love I Am,” you say. “Only then will you know the peace and joy I hunger to give you. Only then will you be clothed in the love that holds my people together as one; only then will you know the loving communion that will hold everything, everyone … everywhere in a great sea of grace.
“Only then will you truly know me.”
Pr. David L. Miller
Sunday, May 10, 2015
Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
I don’t think there is arithmetic in the kingdom of heaven. Subtraction maybe, but no addition or division.
You don’t count, Jesus. Oh, I know you told Peter he would deny you three times and after three days you would be raised from dead. And you did tell stories about the shepherd who lost a sheep and left the 99 to find the lost one.
But when it comes to our sins and failures … you don’t count. And you tell us not to count our own … anybody else’s for that matter.
Today’s a new day, you say. Let go of what was … and live, really live, free from the need to keep score.
We love to keep score; baseball, football, basketball, all kinds of games depend on it. We do it with money, success and how well our kids are performing, too. And we like to see that our score is a little better than others.
Some even keep score religiously, pretending that they—and their church—are better, bigger or “more spiritual."
But you are not the Eternal Bookkeeper keeping track of things in a celestial ledger. You do not count sins or give demerits, and you have no interest in passing out spiritual merit badges.
You didn't show up to take away the sins of the good and agreeable. You take away the sins of the world. They’re gone. Kaput. Forgiven, Forgotten. Every last one of them. The whole kit and caboodle. Hung up on the cross.
Sounds crazy, but that’s the only way your plan works. You are joining everything in One Love, one great communion of grace in which everyone belongs because you love and forgive them all. The only people who risk excluding themselves are those who insist on keeping score.
They just don’t understand your kingdom is a party … not a ball game. And you like writing invitations.
Pr. David L. Miller