Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Luke 10:5-6

Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace to this house!” And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 

The Love we carry

Carry nothing … except peace in your heart, the peace that comes from knowing the Presence of the Great Love in which we each live and move and have our being.

Everything that is, everything we are is the expression of the Great Love who called us into being and breathes life anew into us each morning.

Everything is born of this Love. Love is before all and is all that endures. Everything else passes away. It is in knowing we are held, enveloped in the smile of this Great Love that we enter the delight, the joy, for which we are intended and become fountains of blessing for each soul we meet and every situation we enter.

It starts with knowing. So I come again to these keys, as to each new day, with one need: To know You, the Great Love who is and was and ever shall be, yes, to know myself inside the smile of your heart.

Knowing, I release the mind’s fevered obsession to figure everything out. I can let go of the need to master and understand and simply walk the journey of each day with my heart open to receive whatever comes, knowing Great Love is always there, breathing and speaking peace to my heart that I may be what we each are, a word, an expression of the Love beyond all naming.

When we know … we lay aside the weight we carry, our fears, our failures, our wounds, our sense of injustice or of not being good enough, the desires that may or may not come.

We stop stewing about what has been or will be. We walk into the new day, a gift from the Great Love who wants us to be here, alive at just this moment that we may breathe in the Love who speaks peace through us … one more time. Today.

Pr. David L. Miller.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Matthew 20:15

Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me?

A journey into Love

Today, I will turn off the computer and leave on a journey. The long walk will take me across northern Spain in the footsteps of a saint and mystic who knows the One I know, the One who longs to give one gift—the only gift this Loving Mystery has to give.

The Love it is.

That is all. But this is everything.

To know this One is to know the generosity of the Love who gives in all circumstances and sees every circumstance as an opportunity to pour out, to lavish the Love God is.

My prayer is to walk deeper into the mystery of this enveloping, all-encompassing Love that I may be filled and overwhelmed, praying that every footstep carries me beyond what I am and know to know Love as I am known by this Love.

There are moments of such knowing in this life. Some happen under the canopy of stars or surrounded by autumnal beauty. Some occur as we pour out deepest hurts and hopes in prayer to this Love who wants to hear it all.

And some appear in the eyes and hands and hearts and words of those who truly know how to love and give. They become transparent to the Great Love God is.

Each such moment is a taste of heaven. Each is an experience of knowing God deep within your own being, a knowing that impoverishes every word used to describe it.

Each is a moment of eternity when … in utter joy and unfettered generosity … God pours God’s own divine substance into our hearts amid laughter and tears, a Love that flows down, fills up and splatters on the ground.

But it doesn’t matter. There is always plenty more, for that is the way God is … always greater, always more.

And every moment such Love pours into our souls we might listen for the laughter of the Love who wants only to hold us near, so that we know. Always.

So I go. I will walk the miles. I will listen and pray. And I will laugh ... because I know … and want to know more.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, September 07, 2017

Thursday, September 7, 2017

 Romans 12:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.

A body of love

We pray it every Sunday, Some of us pray it every day: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

Too little attention is paid to what those words mean, especially since we are conformed to a world that runs contrary to God’s holy will.

Your will is for everything to be joined in one great body of love where each soul knows its worth and each has its part to play.

‘The world’ is a system of judgment where each thing is assigned a value, some better than others, some deemed worthless. Life is a competition, a struggle to get more for yourself. Others are competitors. If they get more, you get less. Life is a Darwinian fight to get ahead.

That is the world to which we are not to be conformed. For there is a new world and a new way of being, which we can live, however imperfectly.

This world of grace … the kingdom of God … is a unity of love where all things ae drawn into a body of mutual love, the body of Christ.

Every interaction of the day is an opportunity to seek this unity in love with every person we meet and in each task we touch.

The world is redeemed one moment at a time. The body of love that is God’s holy will is accomplished one gracious word, one caring act, one moment at a time. Then comes the next … and the next … and the next.

And it all starts here, now, at the start of the day as I see your smile and feel the warmth of Love speaking in my soul: “You are my beloved. There is nothing to win or lose today. Nothing to prove or gain. No need to prove that you matter … that you are important. You are treasured more than you can ever understand.

“Just know … the Love I am encircles and warms you. This is all you need.

 “Now go be who you are.”

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Romans 12:9-15

Let love be genuine; hate what is evil, hold fast to what is good; love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

To be ourselves

Who knows how and when love will appear? What stirs the heart until you notice love is there, in you, love you didn’t summon or even seek, love that simply appears?

Love is a gift that must be lived lest the heart’s embers cool and we forget the joy of being moved beyond the prison of ourselves into communion with another human heart.

Love is our nature, created in God’s image, the image of the Love Who Is beyond all imagining. Our truest joy and deepest pain comes in knowing and living the Love that is God’s nature and ours.

Love lives in blessing and sharing, in giving and forgiving, in standing with those who suffer and celebrating with those lifted into joy by life’s sweetest blessings.

Every act of love is an expression of our truest nature and of God’s heart.

But what stirs this love so that it bubbles from our depths and nudges or nags or demands that we do something?

I think it is seeing the need or beauty of another human heart. We truly need to see each other. When we see need or the beauty and joy of others the love that is God’s nature in us is stirred. We are coaxed beyond the narrow confines of busy self-interest to become the love we are.

Then, we have a decision to make. Shall we ignore what is moved in us, deny it or pretend we are too busy to care, to bless, to rejoice or weep with others? Or will we be who we are, the image of a Great Love, the hands and voice of God’s unending compassion?

The call to love is the call to be ourselves, to know the joy of it … and the pain that lives, too, in God’s heart for the brokenness and suffering of the world.

If you want to see people being themselves, turn on your TV and watch the boats churning the waters of Houston’s flooded streets. Watch people wading through water to rescue people from inundated homes. Look at the faces of those clinging to their rescuers. See the pain and relief, the determination and the joy.

This is the face of our truest selves, the face of Christ living in people like us.

Seeing this, how could we want to be anything else?

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, August 28, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Romans 12:1

I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 

Beautiful souls

Jacques Marquette left France likely knowing he would never return.

Marquette was a priest, a Jesuit, sent to ‘New France’ to proclaim the grace of Christ to peoples unknown to him before arriving in the new world. Now, his statue overlooks the harbor on Michigan’s Mackinac Island.

He stands on a grassy hillside beneath the fort whose cannons guarded the strait connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan. His dates, 1637-1675, speak of a soul given away to a Love he couldn’t deny.

He died just short of 38 years old after starting several missions, founding the oldest town in Michigan and bringing the faith I hold dear to native peoples. During his short life, he also explored the Mississippi, the Wisconsin and the Illinois rivers with his native guides, once wintering in Chicago.

Towns, universities, rivers and many landmarks are named for him. But it is his dates and the fact that he left home not knowing if he’d ever return that moves me more than the morning sun on the rich, blue waters of the strait over which his iron eyes keep silent watch, day and night.

Today, vacationers sprawl on the grassy hillside around him, soaking in the beauty of this place as thick Belgian horses clop by pulling wagons of tourists. Ferries sound their horns as they leave the island, while others arrive disgorging their human cargo onto the main street where fudge shops and shirt stores are eager to receive them.

But the noise of trade fades on this green expanse where Marquette stands vigil.

All I can hear is his heart. All I can feel is the beauty of his soul, so taken by the mercy of God that he gave himself to this work and died an early death. He inspires devotion but also makes you question whether you have ever given yourself to anything more than your own comfort.

The forests and lakes are beautiful underneath Marquette’s ever-watchful eyes. The morning sun shimmers on gentle waves and makes me glad I have senses to drink it in and give thanks.

But it is not they that most move me. More lovely by far is the beauty of souls, the souls of those who know Love and in love give themselves away.

There is nothing more beautiful.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

Ephesians 3:18-20

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Lost in the moment

All it takes is the turn of a head, a glance, a smile, the sparkle in a shining eye.

Or maybe it happens when a song you once knew lands again on your ear and awakens your heart to the Love that lives there.

Or maybe it is nature in manifold splendor, trees arching above a path leading you deeper into the mystery of your heart, your memories and the pain and beauty you hide.

It only takes a moment for eternity to rush in, filling you with God, which is to say with a Great Love that fills and spills from your heart, making you glad you’re alive just so you might know the joy of this one precious moment.

Just then, filled with the fullness of Love … that is of God … you know you are in God and God is in you. There is no separation.

Lost in the moment, you know: You live in a sea of Love that holds everything, your joys and hopes, your pains and fears. All of it is held in an ocean of Love, its tides moving also in you.

This is not crazy talk. It is an experience people of faith … and people of no faith … have tried to describe for centuries. Some call it ‘oceanic awareness'—the awareness of being one with all things, an awareness that awakens love and acceptance of others in all their humanness.

Jesus prayed that we may be one with God and each other. He spoke of the Kingdom of God, a community of shared belovedness.

The apostle Paul talks about being caught up in the third heaven where he felt and knew things no mortal could tell. The author of Ephesians talks of being filled with God. Filled with God! Filled with the Love nothing can contain.

Whatever we call it. The experience comes to human souls. And when it does … there are no words. How can there be? Lost in the moment—when immense Love fills, envelops and pours out of us—we finally know God.

You cannot make it happen. The Spirit blows where it wills. We don’t control it, but we can keep our eyes and ears and hearts open. You never know when the right word will be spoken, when that unexpected song will catch your ear, or when the sparkle in an eye will awaken the Love who treasures you and this crazy world beyond all reason.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Matthew 14:22-24

Immediately [Jesus] made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 

With you

I see you there and want to be with you. The new day dawns, and I want no more drama, no issues or questions to resolve, just quiet. With you.

I know that sounds selfish, especially when millions struggle with hunger, conflict, disease, heartache and sorrow. It's the human condition. Why should I have a little peace?  

But you, too, wanted to be quiet, survey the lake and sky, feel the breeze on your skin and let it all transport you into the depth of your soul where you know that Mystery, the Love who stills the heart and awakens a smile of knowing.

You needed that, and so do I.

Today I see you on that hillside, and I am there with you, watching as you look beyond the blue waters, your soul resting in the grace of a Love I have wanted to know all my life.

I know it here, with you.

Storms will come, anxious days when threats and misunderstandings abound. But I will remember the quiet of this time, the stillness of your heart encompassing my own.

I go to this day knowing … what it is to be with you here.

Beloved One, may I live your peace, today.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, August 07, 2017

Monday, August 7, 2017

Matthew 14:17-18

They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And Jesus said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ 

Where it all starts

My soul is quiet today. Still, I start here. I bring my heart to you. For that is what you command and invite, “Bring what you have to me. Bring what you are to me.”

So I come, not knowing what you will do with what I have and am.

When your friends brought you a few loaves and some fish you made a feast for more than 5000. I have no idea how you did it. Rational explanations have been tried. They all sound lame.

Maybe you inspired people to share what they already had. This may satisfy some minds, but not mine.

Something more is going on. Plus, I really don’t need to understand. That desire wanes as the years pass. You realize there are mysteries that are as real as the love in your beating heart which you will never understand.

What I know is this: You loved the people you saw on that rocky shore. You loved them and felt their hunger. The feast was born of the Great Love that beat at your heart. That’s how all miracles happen. They all start with love.

And today … as every day … I see it in your face, in your smile, in your joy.

So I bring myself, my heart and all I am to you, little knowing what you will do with me. So do as you choose, and we’ll see what the new day brings.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Matthew 14:13-16

 Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ 

Soul food

You are the bread for which I hunger, the face I long to see. You are the Love I need to know in depth of heart, near and real.

You are bread for my soul, the food that gives life and joy, hope and peace.

Do not send them away. Feed them. That is what you say. 

Days come when I have nothing to give. So I come here, hoping my fingers will transport me into your Presence where you will feed me with the Love that is the bread of life.

Fill my soul with the bread that leaves me wanting and needing nothing more … than you. For it is you I need and you I seek with these trembling hands on these black keys.

So speak and feed me even as I pour out my heart. Lift me beyond the moments of sadness that I may live with holy purpose and joy, strengthened by knowing that it is your joy to come and feed my hungry heart.

Pr. David L. Miller

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Genesis 9:11-15

God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 


I know. Rainbows appear as the sun embraces the earth and awakens color from water vapor suspended in air, water refracting light.

But this does not explain the delight the bow awakens in the heart—or the rush of happy hope that springs from depth of soul as we see the colors kiss the sky.

Arching over the earth at the end of the rain or amid the spray of waterfall, the bow speaks peace. Love speaks, the Love whose will is the peace of our hearts.

It is God’s peace sign, lighting the sky with the colors of love. And no one can avoid looking when comes the excited shout, “Look, a rainbow!”

Every eye turns skyward to embrace the beauty that embraces the earth. And again, we know … our world is more beautiful and mysterious than we imagine on average days when work consumes our anxious minds.

Love and gratitude are stirred for every expression of love and hope that lifts us into the joy for which we long. And for a moment, we are one with the Heart which our hearts most need.

One, with the Love you are.

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

 John 20:19-23

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. 

Breathe peace

Speak to me today.

I long to hear to hear your voice speaking peace to my heart.

Just one word is enough, for yours is the voice of calm. Your presence stills the heart. Your Soul, the very Soul of God, speaks directly to mine.

You speak and the noise of consciousness falls away. The clamor of the day quiets. There is only you, the sound of your voice, speaking a single word, “Peace.”

This is your first and essential word to me. Hearing you, I am happy, truly, and free to live the truth and blessing I know when I hear your voice and enter the peace you speak to me.

Wrongs are forgiven, fears disappear and doubt vanishes. There is only you, your voice.

So speak to me today. Speak in your wounded hands raised in blessing … to me. Speak in the voice of soul, the Love that rises from depths within. Just speak the word. One will do.

Open my ears to hear you every place I go and in everything I do. Let me hear you in the breeze that stirs the leaves and the birds that serenade my walks.

Speak your peace in the skies to which I lift my eyes, longing to know you more. Speak in every greeting I exchange with those who come my way.

Speak to us today. And when the day ends we will rest, eager to rise and hear your voice again.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Luke 3:21-22

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ 

That smile

I see you there.

I see your head titled slightly to the sky above, the water beneath you. And I see the smile that plays across your lips and shines in your eyes, a smile of knowing.

I see your heart in that smile, warmed and made alive by the Heart you hear speaking to you, calling you beloved.

You look around and everything glistens with the Love you know within.

Everything you see and hear speaks to you of the Love Who Is, the Love who calls you ‘Beloved.’ 
But nothing shines so brightly, nothing speaks so clearly as that smile … of knowing.

I see it. It warms my heart. For in that smile I know that I, too, am beloved.  

Open my eyes to every way you speak to me today that hearing your great love I, too, may smile.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Matthew 13:44-46

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. ‘Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

The pearl

You are worth everything, for you are the Love from which all things come.  

You are the Love for which I have longed every hour of my existence, little knowing that what I most needed and wanted was You.

I did not know that the ecstasy of Love filling the heart is the only cure for the anxieties and loneliness of the human heart.

We hunger for reunion, aching to be one with the One Love from which we come. We are restless, until we bask in a Love so encompassing it that it drenches our souls and overflows our hearts and evaporates every dark thought and worry.

Only then do we know what you always intended us to know, for we have found the pearl of great price; we have tripped upon the treasure buried in the field of our own heart.

You are the treasure. You are the pearl. You are the Love beyond all worlds and the Love you awaken in me.

Come wake me today. Come as the Incomprehensible Love you are. Fill my heart so completely that it is impossible to want anything else. Come, satisfy the longing in our leaky hearts.

Light my life with words of grace, with smiles of welcome, with hearts that care, with beauty that awakens every sense and fills my heart with joy and hope.

Let me feel your heart within my own. Set me free to be the Love you are in me.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

 Matthew 13:24-30

He put before them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, “Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?” He answered, “An enemy has done this.” The slaves said to him, “Then do you want us to go and gather them?” But he replied, “No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.” '

Trust the seed

Weeds and wheat are a portrait of the world, I suppose. If so, they are also an image of each day, each hour, each place, each person and each of us, telling us what to expect today—a mixture.

Not everything will be pleasing, not everything will make us happy, not everything will be life-giving, but (and this a big one) goodness and grace, wonder and beauty, hope and love … thank God … love will be there, too.

All this will be thrown together in one big bag, shaken and thoroughly mixed, and we’ll call it … Thursday.   

The way of faith and wisdom is to welcome it all. To say, “Yes,” to whatever comes. To accept that you were made to live this moment, made for this time, place and encounter.  

Embrace every moment knowing a seed has been planted in this world, this day, this hour, in the person you are talking to at this moment, however irritating or wonderful the moment may be.

There is good seed planted there. Sometimes it has grown to the beauty of waves of wheat waving in the wind. I’ve seen it, and it has a grace all its own.

Sometimes the bad seed, the ugly, cynical, painful and destructive has taken root so deeply in a life, a time and place that this is all one can see.

But the good seed is there, the seed of Love, waiting for you to water and nourish it with the grace in active your own soul that it may grow into the beauty of God’s own heart. The human task is not to separate the plants but to grow wheat.

Trust the seed. Say, ‘yes,’ to each moment. Be the Love you are. Today.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, July 17, 2017

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

 Psalm 125:2

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, from this time on and for evermore. 

The Word in Burlington Park

The oaks of Burlington Park speak without saying a word. They surround a grassy meadow, stretching 60, 80, even 100 feet tall. Several arch high over a gravel square built for fires at the center of the meadow.

Bird calls echo against the trees, robins praying for rain and cardinals calling for their mates, answering each other across the green expanse.

Millions of leaves, the great greening of summer, dampen every sound but the birds and occasional trains that rumble by on the north boundary of the park.

Even they cannot disturb this island of peace.

The trees form an enclosure, an envelope around the field, creating a solitude where the heart falls silent and rests, held within something greater.

God speaks in the holding. And all who have ears to hear, understand what God says:

“All that you see and hear, all that you are and hope is held in Love, a Love as real and alive as everything your eyes see and everything your heart feels in this place of grace.

“So just stand here … or sit if you prefer, surrounded by the ancient oaks, sheltered beneath their mighty arms, embraced by the greening of creation … more alive and beautiful that my words can tell.

“Just be. You are held in the Love who breathes through every leaf.”

Pr. David Miller

Monday, July 17, 2017

Matthew 13:1-3

That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the lake. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: ‘Listen! A sower went out to sow. 

Being in your presence

The story continues, but I am not listening. The sower throws seed. Some springs up quickly and dies. Other seed is gobbled by birds, and some falls into good soil and grows.

The story is well known, but I wonder if I were sitting there, at Capernaum on the banks of the Sea of Galilee, whether I would have heard any of it.

I wonder if I would have been so pleased just to be there, with you, that I would have gazed at you barely listening to what you were saying.

As much as anything, this is what I crave: just to be with you, in the presence of the love and beauty that shines from you when I feel your glance and hear you speak about the seed you have planted in my heart.

I know the seed. It has grown into the desire to know and love and be with you, to speak the word of love that flows from the Father, through you and into me.

The greatest joy is to know, to speak and sing of this … Presence ….this Love. Moments come when there is no separation between my heart and yours, when we are one heart, joined in love. It happened again yesterday, this oneness. It always brings tears.

This is what I desire. And this is what I imagine would have happened if today was the day I sat on the shore, listening, as you began to speak of seeds and soil. I would have simply enjoyed being in your presence.

Being in your presence is everything. It calms the heart and awakens the joy of being encompassed in the oasis of Love around you.

Being there, the seed grows. 

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Matthew 9:14

Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?

Wedding days

Fill me, O Lord, with the wine of rejoicing. I long for you to warm every empty space in my heart and lift me into the joy of knowing … you.

The days are anxious, busy, messy and sometimes laced with uncertainty about what is best. Others are seared with longing and pain, one’s own or that of others. Even so, you invite me to look beyond the fragmentation and challenges each hour can bring.

For today is a wedding day, and tomorrow will be the same. You are the divine bridegroom. You marry every moment of this life that your love may shine through and disperse the darkness of even our most disjointed and troubling days.

Today is the day of rejoicing. Tomorrow will be the same. For heaven and earth are wed; the wine of rejoicing is poured out each day no matter what else comes.

So open my eyes to the beauty of smiles and the grace of those who truly care. Let me savor the laughter that sparkles in the air even on difficult days. Help me hear and honor the humanity of those who suffer. Move me to giggle and join the innocent play of children.

Let me know the purest joy of blessing another human heart.

Then heaven and earth will meet and kiss. And my heart will dance to the music of the wedding feast.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, July 03, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

 Matthew 10:40-42

‘Whoever welcomes you welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. Whoever welcomes a prophet in the name of a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward; and whoever welcomes a righteous person in the name of a righteous person will receive the reward of the righteous; and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward.’ 

Where joy is

Jesus is present in every love, every righteous heart, every word of grace, every act of justice and in every moment of kindness. To welcome any of these gifts is to receive the Great Giver who is the source and inspiration of every good and gracious moment we encounter.

I long to receive you in every good and gracious thing, Jesus. It is a joy to know and welcome you. But today my great joy is not receiving but giving.

Even the smallest acts awaken a surplus of joy exceeding any reasonable expectation. Writing an email to bless and encourage, greeting the dog-walkers as I tread my morning path, insignificant moments, yet in them I know your living Love flowing through me, lifting my heart to disproportionate joy.

Staying away from the Lord’s Table for one Sunday to soak in the sun, I feel a longing to bless, to speak of the Love beyond all naming. And there you are, telling me who I am. I was made for blessing, to stand with words grace on my lips, eager for ears to hear and hearts to awaken to Love’s presence even if it flows through a vessel as faulty as me.

Jesus, you invite us to pay attention and welcome all in whom the signs of Love appear—the prophet, the just, the kind and gracious. Welcoming them is welcoming you, Love’s presence among us.

But today, I feel myself on the other side of the relationship, a giver not a receiver.

I recoil from the honor and elevation of this. It is too great a thing to imagine that I am the prophet to be received, the righteous soul to be welcomed. I am none of these things.

Yet, I feel and know the grace you are flowing through me, Jesus. I hear my words … my words … blessing others. And in spite of my manifold imperfections, I know that I am vessel of the Love who is … and in receiving me hearts actually know and welcome the Loving Mystery you are. And I … I know joy, exceeding and disproportionate. Your joy.

St. Francis was right. It is in giving we receive.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, July 02, 2017

SUnday, July 2, 2017

Matthew 8:5-10,13

 When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, appealing to him and saying, ‘Lord, my servant is lying at home paralysed, in terrible distress.’ And he said to him, ‘I will come and cure him.’ The centurion answered, ‘Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof; but only speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to one, “Go”, and he goes, and to another, “Come”, and he comes, and to my slave, “Do this”, and the slave does it.’ When Jesus heard him, he was amazed and said to those who followed him, ‘Truly I tell you, in no one in Israel have I found such faith. And to the centurion Jesus said, ‘Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.’ And the servant was healed in that hour.

Trust love

Joy springs to life when we trust love. Extraordinary Love.

The centurion may not have ever met Jesus before, just heard about him. But he knew two things: Jesus had authority he did not possess. And second, Jesus employed his power to restore human beings to their fullness.

He trusts the Love that is in Jesus, the Love Jesus possesses for the lost and alone, the troubled and broken.

The centurion commanded 100 Roman soldiers. He understands authority. But he does not come to Jesus to command. He comes in humility, not on his knees, but as one who recognizes and honors the authority and power of one greater than he.

A perfect man he is not. He has slaves, an inhumane and abhorrent practice even if it was common in his day. But Love is working in him. He loves his servant. He wants him healed.

The centurion is a man on the way, like me, like every human being, on a journey in which we are invited to know and to trust Love … and be transformed by joy into something more alive and beautiful than we are.

Who knows what we may yet be? Only the One who heals and makes alive, the Love we can always trust.

The centurion makes his request and returns home. He goes his way more alive than he has ever been. He has entered the joy of knowing the Love who is always for us, the Love who touches and makes us whole.

Pr. David L. Miller