Thursday, July 20, 2017
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
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
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.
Being there, the seed grows.
Pr. David L. Miller