Friday, April 01, 2016
After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus.
I hold my breath, anticipating the moment, Jesus. Your friends will soon see you truly alive. Their hearts will burst with joy. Excited shouts will explode from their lungs as they race toward you, knowing … the Heart they most want and need is right there … with them.
They returned to their old life, fishing. It was what they knew. They could do it without thinking. Their arms and legs instinctively went through the motions.
But their minds were far away in another place and time. Their hearts bled for the One, the Great Love they had seen and known, the Loving Mystery for whom the world had waited through long, brutal centuries.
They had eaten and drank, held and kissed the cheek of the One, the only One who could soothe their aching eyes and fill them with the Great Love who is and was and ever will be.
They had walked and talked with the Holy Love who embraces all that is … and them, despite all the ways they failed him. Of all men and women who have ever lived, they were the most blessed … and the most wounded, for having betrayed him and watched his awful death.
Now, they go on, returning to something they know, trying to find a way to live without the One who is Life.
And I hold my breath, for I know: you are there, waiting at the shore. Always. The moment will soon come, and joy will fill every chamber of their aching hearts.
He stands there, waiting.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, March 28, 2016
From an ancient homily on Holy Saturday
I order you, O sleeper to awake. I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell. Rise up from the dead, for I am the life of the dead. Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you; together we form only one person and we cannot be separated.
We are one
Good and gracious God, this voice crosses many centuries to appear on the page of my prayer book.
I have no idea who wrote this sermon. The name and face are lost to history, but I recognize the voice. It is your voice, your truth and love speaking to the troubled and conflicted places in my heart.
You speak and heal me with a Love that awakens tears of joy and knowing what only the heart can.
I feel the worlds as much as I read and see them in my mind. I feel and know: you would not have me living in the hell of unknowing for even a single moment. Hell is not to know, to feel far off as when our sins and conflicts separate us from knowing the Love that is ours always.
So I turn from all that is petty and negative, from all that is dark and hurtful to the heart. I turn the eyes of my heart to what is light and love, to beauty and grace, and there I know you, shining like the sun, eyes lit with a love who wants and treasures me, removing all sin and shame, lifting every sadness and doubt.
Seeing you within, hell is banished. It cannot stand the joy of such Love unbounded.
I enter heaven and am blessed once more, knowing that we are never separate one from another. We are one person, your love living deep within my own love for you. These are not two but one.
All that I am is in you, encompassed in this great sea of love, and everything you are pours in and through me, leaving no room for anything but the love you are … and that we are … together.
Pr. David L. Miller