Friday, December 11, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Isaiah 40:5

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
   and all people shall see it together,
   for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 

You are the glory

Open the door of our souls, O Lord, and release the river of Love flowing from within that we may shine with your glory.

We see the glory of the Lord in snowscapes of winter, the grandeur of mountains and the yawning immensity of space littered with billions of galaxies. We are moved by sunlight broken into spectrums as it streams through window panes and plays on walls and floors.

The earth is alive with the glory of God, but the greatest glory of all is our own human souls made free by Love God is.

Isaiah, the prophet, saw the vision of a freed people on their way home from bondage, released to truly live again by the Love of the Eternal Mystery whose will and ways are embedded deep in the working out of history.

They made their way home across wilderness and wasteland. But with each step they realized they were already home … even though the miles stretched out before them.

They felt themselves being carried forward by the One Love who came to their aid, comforting their souls with the freedom that comes only when one is filled with the love who is Love.

With each step, they came to know the glory of God is a soul filled with the ecstatic freedom and gratitude Love releases in the human heart.

It makes your eyes shine with a light and glory more luminous than all the galaxies God ever imagined. 

Seeing it, you know: No other glory is quite so bright. 

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Isaiah 40:4

Every valley shall be lifted up,
   and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
   and the rough places a plain. 

The holy way

There is a way home into the heart of God. I walked it last Monday night.

Filled with anxiety about the uncontrollable future, I went to a favorite place to pray. I prayed aloud, my voice echoing against the brick walls of the tiny chapel, and I was utterly honest, holding nothing back. 

I named my faults and uncertainties, my failures and fears, self-doubt and inner accusations. I surrendered the absurd delusion that I am or should be more or better or different from the needy, fallible human hearts I meet each day. 

I was humbled, knowing I but one more human soul who can no more control the future that he can erase the past.

I made no promises to God about doing better, for I cannot assure myself or anyone else that my efforts to live and love and serve will by any better or worse than they have been for years.

Mountains of pride fell to the chapel floor. And my valley of sadness and shame was revealed as a product of the arrogance that I should be something more than human.

I surrendered to my life and limitations as they are, releasing the mind’s ceaseless chatter about what could or should or might be, accepting life’s circumstances and situations as the reality I must live.

Ironically, surrender brought peace. It stirred hope. It calmed the anxiety. It released everything to the Holy One from came a calm I could not give myself.

Hope, it seems, is born as you abandon yourself to your human limitations and situation, and open yourself to what God may bring. 

This is the holy way, the way the heart opens to God and begins to feel the stirring of life that is Life and Love that never dies. 

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, December 07, 2015

Monday, Dec. 7, 2015

Isaiah 40:3

A voice cries out:
‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
   make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 

The voice of hope

Wilderness is not a dry rocky space where life is hard. It is not a trackless thicket, a forest where you cannot find your way.

It is where you get lost, where you lose yourself and you forget who you are, your truth and value.

Wilderness is the anxiety that grips you difficult days when you can find no peace from which to draw strength. It is living with complicated relationships, navigating conflict and wondering if you really see things as they are.

For the prophet Isaiah the wilderness was the wild, rough landscape separating his people, Israel, from Judea, their home. Exiled in Babylon, they flew across the wilderness on the wings of imagination to survey the ancient hills and see Jerusalem again, the place of Presence where the Holy One was known and worshiped.

This was home. But their homes were long abandoned and the ruined temple was a pile of scattered stones. And they were far away, lost and captive, fast losing their courage and the memory of what it felt like to know God’s presence filling their hearts. They ached to feel whole and beloved again.

The Bible does not tell us the identity of the voice who cries out, “prepare the way of the Lord.”

Whoever it is, this is the voice of hope. It speaks to ancient Israel … and you, making God’s message clear: “I will not forget you. You are always on my heart. I will come to you in your wilderness that you may come home and know the Love I am.”

Pr. David L. Miller