Monday, December 11, 2017

Monday, December 11, 2017

Isaiah 40:6-8

A voice says, ‘Cry out!’
   And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’
All people are grass,
   their constancy is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
   when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
   surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades;
   but the word of our God will stand for ever.

The grace of failure

I almost succeeded yesterday. I gave voice to the grace that is in me.

It is not my grace, but the grace of the One who is the Loving Mystery we have long labeled God. The word God, for me, gets in the way most of the time. I just know this Unspeakable One as Mystery and as Love who comes and flows through me and so many … and in so many places.

I seldom succeed to bring the Voice of Grace to the fullest expression, such as I am able. I usually stumble around and know how short I fall.

But yesterday I came close, or as close as I can come to speak the truth I know within.

But even this success falls woefully short. For the grace who comes and flows in us is eternal and steadfast. It does not waver. It is beyond every human capacity to express in word and act.

But it does not matter. For it is better to have struggled and failed at grace than to have succeeded in anything less.

Expressing the grace of God is our essential human endeavor. It is this that makes us human.

We always fall short. But our failures always bring us back to the wonder of grace who smiles at our every attempt to speak what can never be spoken.

Pr. David L. Miller






Saturday, December 09, 2017

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Mark 1:7

John [the Baptist] proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 

The God who comes

Morning comes. I dress and stumble down the stairs. I put on my boots, a coat and hat and go for a walk. I walk two or three miles, setting a pace that takes me to a small pond, Feather Sound, in time to see the sunrise.

I need to feel the sun on my face. It stirs the joy of being part ... a tiny part ... of a universe where this wonder happens every day. The Love, the Mystery, from whom creation comes fills me and makes me feel alive, filled with hope for the new day.

Some days I do not walk. I go to my basement office, pour coffee beans in the grinder and make a pot of strong brew, steaming and black. I light the candle on my desk and turn on the computer.

I look at few verses from the Bible and listen to whatever thoughts and feelings come. Then I sit at the keyboard and write. And God comes ... at the tip of my fingers, as I write whatever hurts and hopes and joys are in me.

God comes. This is the message of Advent.

God came as the infant, Jesus, in Mary’s arms. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. But God is coming to us every moment because that is the way God is. God is Love and Love always hungers for the beloved, for us. God hungers to enfold us and fill us with the Love that awakens true joy.  

God comes whether we are seeking God or not. God comes when we have done everything wrong. God comes when we are confused and the word ‘God’ has lost all meaning for us. God comes when the very thought of God brings anger because of sorrow or disappointment. God comes when our days grow short and our hearts are broken.

God is always coming to us in utter love to comfort and care, to fill the emptiness with the love God is.

So do whatever you can to clear away the things that stop the flow of God’s love and life in you. Take a walk. Light a candle. Call your mother ... or an old friend.  Pray for someone on the news. Listen to music that opens your heart. Greet the strangers on the street. They’ll wonder what you’re up to. Sit in silence by the lights of your tree. Give a gift to someone in need. Make it generous.

Because Christ is coming. He comes wherever you are ... with comfort and care. Be ready to receive him.

Pr. David L. Miller


Thursday, December 07, 2017

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Isaiah 40:3-5

A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and every mountain and hill be made low; and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ 

Coming home

There is wilderness without and within.

Wilderness is a trackless wasteland, a desert where the sky is always blue and a merciless sun scorches the rocks pale beige. A year can pass before a few drops of rain fall. It was through this that exiled Israel passed to return home from Babylon.

But there is also a more confusing wilderness, the twisted landscape of the human heart with all its conflicting emotions and the desires we imagine will lead to the joy for which we long. How to live? Which impulses and insights lead home?

For it is home that we want, home that we need. And home is to be in the Lord, in the Love who alone fills the soul. Home is to be filled with this Love so that we are one with this Mysterious One for whom we long.

But how are we to prepare a way, leveling the mountains and raising the ravines that get in the way of our journey back into the arms of the One Love who first sent us out on this earthly trek where we got lost?

And we get lost all the time.

All of life is a journey in search of home. But where is it, and how do we get there? The voice calls in our wilderness, “Prepare.” But how?

Maybe confusion and longing are the path. Maybe the way home is to admit to ourselves and each other that we do not know the way, that we need fellow travelers who accept our confusion and neediness because they, too, are struggling to find their way.

Maybe it is then that Love finds a space to breathe in us, and we realize home is closer than we thought.

Pr. David L. Miller



Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Mark 1:7-8

John [the Baptist] proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

He is coming

There is no shortage of expectation as Christmas draws near. The sources are too many and too obvious to name: presents, parties, time with family and friends, the arrival of faces we see too seldom.

Tears are closer this time of year, too. Colored lights and old, familiar songs stir memories and moisten eyes. Longings long buried bubble to the surface in unexpected moments even as we dismiss them as ‘just something in my eye.’

That’s a lie, of course. It something in our soul. No, it is our soul calling us home to ourselves and to a Love much greater than we can ever fully know.

So listen to the voice of your longing. Welcome the ache of yearning. Let it wound you, for only then do you realize you were made for much more than you imagined.

You were made to know a Spirit Most Holy bathing your restless heart in peace until quiet knowing fills you and silences every anxious voice within.

He is coming. He is always coming, as near the voice of your longing.

So name the ache inside. Speak the desire of your heart. Cry out with joy when delight fills you at the wonder of feeling alive and loved. Pour out your hunger for a Love that seems always beyond your reach.

It is not. For he is the longing, the tear, the expectation, the joy, the peace and the unrest that refuses to let you settle for anything less than the Love he is.

And there never has been a moment … nor ever shall be … when he is not coming to you.

Pr. David L. Miller



Saturday, December 02, 2017

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Luke 21: 34

'Be on guard so that your hearts are not weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and the worries of this life, and that day does not catch you unexpectedly.

The eternal smile

Morning comes, and I feel you within, so deeply. ‘Come closer,’ you say without speaking a word. ‘Sit here with me and feel the Love that cures the longing deep within you. I Am that Love.

‘Rest with me for a while, and my smile will fill you with quiet joy and peace. You will know me and remember who you really are.

‘For you are the Love that flows in your tears and echoes in your laughter when your heart is full. You are the smile that fills every part of you when you know and feel me within. Don't ever forget the beauty I Am in you.

‘Release every worry about money and budgets, about work and time. Forget the opinions and judgments others cast on you. Let go of the rejections and wounds you suffer. The noise of their voices drowns out your deepest self, the Love I Am and long to be in you.

‘Return here to sit with me whenever you get lost and forget who you are. For I am everything you need. I am the smile of Eternal Love that is your freedom, your joy and peace that passes all understanding.

‘When you know me … the Love I Am in your secret depths … my smiles will fill you and you will have what you need for this and every day.’

Pr. David L. Miller








Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday, November 24, 2017

Revelation 21:6

Then he said to me, ‘It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. 

Thanksgiving redux

More than the past, the future most moves me, hopes unrealized, joys yet to be, a me I know is there but is not yet despite 65 years.

I walk among the trees, drawn to water, a stream, as if to drink with the creatures who shyly emerge from the brush. This day the stream is high, the current swift. Rocks in its course divide it into three cold, silver currents that merge into one a few yards downstream.

The sun repeats itself in the silver flow as the stream continues south among the trees, disappearing from sight while the creatures and I refresh ourselves with living water.

Why is it that you speak to me in such places? I cannot make it happen.

There is a place in me to which only you have access. My boots made the bend toward the bridge, and hope, honest hope filled me, rising from a place deep within, beyond the reach of mind and will.

I felt a future I cannot see and tasted tears of a joy, knowing it will be fulfilled.

I know: The day will come when I will be more of what I am, that is … of what you are in me, this Love, this joy, this wonder that you and I are one and always have been.

This day is set aside for remembering and knowing the gratitude of love fulfilled, of promises realized, of graces given and received. There are and have been many.

But the silver current and a house full of laughing grandsons turn my mind from the past.

Joy is now, and this heart will yet find itself full and complete in the Love who finds me and speaks in living water that flows on.


Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Psalm 65:8

Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs; you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy. 

Face the light

Give us songs of praise that speak what is in our hearts, Holy One. For only songs can say what our hearts know: The goodness of love, the beauty of earth, the joy of watching the curve of the sun appear, a sliver of light above the dark waters and purple horizon.

The reeds and bearded grass light gold in the early glow as the great circle of fire rises, half now above its eastern shore.

‘Ah,’ I say, ‘you let it out again.’ The sun that is.

Caged, it was in the darkness until you opened the gate sent it here to me, one more day, one more blessed day to know the blessing of life and love, of joy and hope, of work that lets my heart come from its hiding to be itself, the love you made me to be.

Two words: Thank you. Just, thank you.

Let the morning praise you. Let everything that has breath face the light and see its rising that every face may be warmed by the Love you are. Maybe then we can sing your praise … together … knowing no fear, only the truth of a Love that rises new … every day.


Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 13, 2017

Monday, November 13, 2017

Psalm 33:6

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
   and all their host by the breath of his mouth. 

Breathe

I come to this space to see the deer … and breathe. The deer refuse their Sunday afternoon appointment with me this rainy day, so I breathe the air, fragrant with fallen leaves I shuffle through just as when I was a child.

Leaves delight, rust and red, gold and yellow, green ones that fell before the Artist could paint them. But they, too, contribute to the kaleidoscope of color rustling around my boots scuffling on the cinder path.

The earth is covered, coated complete with leaves that once hid the sun in this place even on brightest days. Today is pale gray, inspiring no rapture. The low sky stretches beyond bare limbs to the far horizon, telling me that I enter a future I cannot see or even imagine.

I will leave that future to the One who knows and loves me better than I can possibly understand.

Today, it is the leaves that awaken the heart. Millions of them … billions … blanket the ground, covering everything, their glory fading in the drear drizzle.

But their fate brings little sadness. Creation’s Author breathes out color and light and draws it back in again, only to breathe life into all that is from what has fallen.

I stand here, hoping the deer might join me, yet with every breath receiving the gift no mortal can make.

I am here … breathing. I belong, part of the breathing of God who invites me here … to know … and breathe.

So just breathe … and know.

Pr. David L. Miller



Saturday, November 11, 2017

Saturday, November 12, 2017

Psalm 90:14

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
   so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.

November dawn

Cold November dawns deep blue and purple on Feather Sound. What yesterday glistened gold, the rapture of autumn reflecting on the water’s face, has become a harbinger of what is soon to come. One day, everything changes. The season of falling loses its luster as winter descends.

But even here is hope as clouds part, and a thin shaft of light pierces the low purple shrouding this stop on my morning journey. Then, another ray, narrower still, appears through a break in the gloom to light the glassy surface by reeds and cattails, coated with frost, rustling stiff in the breeze.

I stop to watch the play of water and light, expecting or at least hoping the light will excite a moment of joy and knowing ... and salve wounds the decades don’t heal.

The light is enough, just enough, to flicker warmth within and let me know that Love brought this into being and Love wants me even when I feel utterly lost and alone, wondering where I am going and what will be, having no clue, at least none I want to accept.

The two narrow streams of light flow from the heavens and transform the sound. The horizon disappears. My eyes cannot find where water ends and sky begins.

The pond, dark and smooth as glass, seamlessly reflects the purple and mottled blues of lumpy cumulus, pierced by November dawn. The water now an artist’s canvas catches every shade and hue, capturing each contour of cloud awakening an old hope.

Earth and sky are one. So maybe I, too, can know oneness with the One who makes such mornings and paints the day with the colors of love and hope. Maybe then my heart and life will be as seamlessly one as water and sky.

Maybe here the heart of Jesus reaches to heal what nothing else can. Maybe he has been waiting for me here all along, waiting to share November dawn. Maybe it is a voice more holy than my own that whispers, “Just stand here.”

Pr. David L. Miller




Monday, November 06, 2017

Monday, November 6, 2017

Revelation 7:9-10

 After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, ‘Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!’ 

Standing

I saw my father yesterday. It was remarkable since he died in late September 2003. But I saw him clearly and full of life.

He wore those rimless spectacles that were so common in the 1940s and a blue shirt open at the collar. A wave of his still-black hair curled and fell across his forehead as it did in the years before it thinned out.

He was no longer weak, in bed, his legs and body wasted from polio, calling for my mother because he was dying and couldn’t stand to be alone.

He was young. It was still those years before my sister and I were born, years I know only from weathered photos. But there he was … standing, among a great crowd, looking surprised at the commotion of ecstatic joy surrounding him.

He tried to join whatever it was they were singing, his soft bass voice stronger than in the years it was barely a whisper for the damage disease had done to his lungs. But now he sang, startled by the sound of his own voice, startled to be there ... free from everything that had bound him.

And I saw him, my All Saints gift, standing again as once he had, his sorrow long gone, the distance between us no longer great. Then I stood, with him, and sang of a Love that will not let us go.

Pr. David L. Miller



Saturday, November 04, 2017

November 4, 2017

Saturday, Matthew 25:6-10

But at midnight there was a shout, “Look! Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.” Then all those bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.” And while they went to buy it, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went with him into the wedding banquet; and the door was shut. 

Heart light

Pink morning light illumines ripples on the stream as my boots thump on bridge boards above.

The shallow stream splits here. Side currents hurry around rocks, leaving a quiet pool in the middle where mallards will settle in when rays of the wan autumn sun warm the waters.

An oak leaf glides in the current inches below the surface, resting in the pool as bare November trees reflect black in the steel blue stream. The morning scene tinged gold and blush now as sunlight paints the far horizon, southeast now that winter is soon to come.

Sunrise is minutes away, and this painted moment will disappear in daylight. But not yet.

I am here, boots on the bridge, loving and knowing the love of the Love Beyond who paints moments with morning light.

I have this moment, and the Love who fills it … and me, grateful that I have enough heart to know the Heart who is eager to meet me in every moment.

For every moment bears opportunities, blessings and challenges. But only those whose hearts are ready receive the blessing each brings enters the joy of truly living. Only those whose who nurture the flame of love in their hearts are awake to the moments so kissed with the Love Who Is Beyond all telling. Their hearts know and shine with the healing light of love.

Keep your heart-light burning.

Pr. David L. Miller





Monday, October 30, 2017

October 30, 2017

1 John 1:5

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in him there is no darkness at all.

October light

Golden warmth embraces tree tops in the woods as the sun sinks low on a Sunday afternoon, painting yellow leaves deeper gold as tree trunks and low branches go dark in the fading day.

And I laugh in delight, chanting ‘thank you’ to the Beyond I come here to meet.

Laughter is sweet praise of nature’s artist, as light lifts my eyes to higher limbs of oak and maple still illumined as daylight marches steadily westward.

The day will soon be done. Forest stillness blankets the woods as human intruders flee the darkness, a quiet punctuated by a wedge of geese honking their way toward evening’s repose.

In gray-light shadows gentle fawns step warily onto the cinder path where bikes whizzed by minutes ago. I am a curiosity to them. They step toward my frozen form still in the road, likely wondering if I am friend or fear.

There is something I want them to know.

I want them to know what the Maker of the Light sings to me in October light, so I whisper to the deer as they watch and seem to hear: ‘Have no fear. I am no threat to you. You are beautiful to me. The world is so much more beautiful for your presence.’

‘Thank you,’ I say to the fawns and their Maker, the Light of October afternoons.


Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Luke 12:40

You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’

Lessons while walking

The mind wanders when you walk a pilgrimage as I recently did across northern Spain.

With no phone, TV or media to distract, you feel your life, joys and sorrows, regrets and hopes, treasured faces from long ago and futures you’d love to live.  

But walk long enough and everything falls away. The mind quiets, thoughts disappear and you are simply there, walking. The noise in your mind fades to silence, and all you hear is your own footfalls.

It is then realize you cannot think your way through ... or around ...  the confusion and challenges of your life. You must simply receive what each moment brings ... and keep walking.

There is peace in this. You can be where you are, attention tuned to the moment, no longer distracted by a thousand things you cannot change or fix or understand or resolve.

Don’t think. Just walk. This became the mantra of my journey. I repeated it every day, over and over.

Sometimes, the voice was not my own, but a voice of promise: “Don’t think. Just walk. Keep your eyes and your ears and your heart open. I will come. I am Love, and I will meet you on the road.”

The promise proved to be true. Every day. It is always true. The Great Love, as I long ago learned to name the God we know in Jesus Christ, will meet us on the way.

And so it was, on a warm day in the mountains. There were two Greek girls who laughed when I told them they were not lost, and a Columbian man who gave me water as my lungs were about to collapse climbing Montserrat. There was Dave, from Oakland, limping on a bum knee about the time I thought I could go no higher, and a young Spanish couple who wanted hold each other and have their photo taken at the mountaintop. Little did they know they held my heart, too.

For in each of these the Great Love spoke, “See? I told you so.

“Just keep walking.”


 Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, October 23, 2017

Monday, October 23, 2017

O God Beyond All Praising

O God, beyond all praising, we worship you today
and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at every gift you send,
at blessings without number and mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word,
We honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.

Singing Truth

Song lifts the heart into the Truth we most need to be true.

Swept up in song, Love speaks not from outside our flesh but from within, and we know … we are one … with the One before whom we can only fall silent, overwhelmed and overcome, except in song.

In song, the heart is transported into the Love Who Is and discovers this Love is not some outside force but the deepest truth and joy at the depth of one’s soul.

We know within ourselves … the Love who is always Beyond: Beyond our thoughts, beyond our words, beyond our imaginations, beyond our praise, beyond our fondest hopes, beyond the farthest netherworld of space yet as near as our breath.

Deus semper major—God is always more, more love, more joy, more hope, more wonder, more powerful and more loving than our praise can say.

Still, we must sing our praise knowing it always falls short of the glory it speaks, singing it not because God needs or demands it but because it is a door of entry into knowing the Love our hearts need to live … to truly live.

It is in this knowing that our hearts find consolation and peace for every ache, loss and fear. Knowing Love … heals our hearts.

So we sing our songs of praise to the One Beyond all praising, needing and hoping to be swept away, lifted into that space where we know the Love Amazing no song can repay.

Pr. David L. Miller  





Saturday, October 21, 2017

Saturday, October 17, 2017

Luke 12:11-12

When they bring you before the synagogues, the rulers, and the authorities, do not worry about how you are to defend yourselves or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that very hour what you ought to say.’

Do not worry

We hold a mystery. The word should be capitalized, Mystery.

The Mystery is a presence not a thing, a movement not an object, a flow, a wind, a current, a smile of the Love who shines on all creation … and on you.

This Love is in us, a Mystery we hold yet a Mystery who holds us, and who speaks in each morning.

“I am here. I am in you as you are in me. I am the Love you need, the Love who have long desired, the Presence who fills your emptiness.

“Fear nothing, no future or threat, no worry or sorrow, no past or present, for you hold the Mystery of the Love who will speak and console, strengthen and ignite hope at the point of your greatest need.

"Do not worry. I will warm every cold place with the Presence who is today and always.

Pr. David L. Miller




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