Saturday, December 30, 2017
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was of a great age, having lived with her husband for seven years after her marriage, then as a widow to the age of eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshipped there with fasting and prayer night and day. At that moment she came, and began to praise God and to speak about the child to all who were looking for the redemption of Jerusalem.
Praise to you for snow that blows and glistening white mornings. Praise to you for the sun, bright with promise in the endless blue. Praise for the joy of walking a winter path that leads always to you.
Praise for the new day kissed with light and for the joy of basking in sun spots that warm the heart with knowing … you.
This is a day for praise. Today, we know the joy of seeing the child of your favor.
Anna sees and praises. She raises her old lady voice and looks across the centuries, lifting her arms to direct our song of wonder and hope, of love and praise for the God who comes to favor us.
We need to praise more than anything else. The world is too much with us, in us, on us. Our hearts become laden with troubles near and far.
But the child of God’s favor has come. He breaks every power of sorrow or fear that would steal our joy. So surrender every trouble and worry to him. Lift your head, raise your arms to sky and join Anna’s song.
This is the song of saints and angels, the song of every soul who has ached to know the Love for which they were born. It is a song of laughter and unbridled happiness.
“Do not fear. Do not fear,” It goes. "Love is your day and Love your future. Love is your present and Love the light of each tomorrow.”
The child of God’s favor shines with the light of a new day that shall not end. Ever.
So lift your heart and join the song of the blessed. Your praise will chase away every sorrow. Your joy will crush the worries that bind you. Your voice will cast out demons of doubt and fear.
And all that will remain is the joy of basking in the light of a new day.
Pr. David L. Miller
Friday, December 29, 2017
After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
I love to hear my name when spoken by someone who loves and respects me. I turn immediately and pay attention, wanting to with be them. I hear what I need in the sound of their voice, and I am eager to respond to what they need from me.
I also hear what I need—the Voice of Love—in the name given to our Lord, “Jesus.”
Names have meaning, and Jesus means, “God saves.” Speak this name in every moment of need. Hear his name in the deepest well of your soul where your hopes, fears and hurts all come together, and know … God saves.
God saves not once upon a time, but here and now every time we repeat the name and feel the mystery of his presence.
God saves every time we look upon the beauty of the earth and know gratitude for life and breath, filled with the privilege of seeing and sharing this life with others and the wonders of creation.
God saves every time we hear a voice speak our name with love and respect, for there, too, Love speaks to remind us that we are beloved by the One whose name we should speak in every moment of joy, hurt, crisis or want.
Jesus … God saves.
Use his name with greatest love and with hope in your heart. His name opens our future and lets us release the weights we carry. Jesus, God saves and will save us every time we call, filling and lifting our hearts so that we need not be crushed beneath past hurts or present fears.
Perhaps his name should be our prayer … our only prayer. Repeated again and again, silently in our minds or whispered on the breath, we feel and know the Love he is and are carried into a place of peace.
He wants to hear his name on our lips … even more than I like to hear my own.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, December 26, 2017
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
And this is how I see you … on a cold Christmas Day.
My feet find their way again to Feather Sound. Mid-afternoon sun lights white as crystal on the snowy path. My boots crunch through the crust.
Golden glare assaults my eyes from the pond’s frozen face as the sun, low on winter’s horizon, makes it way west, soon to settle behind the trees, completing its daily journey. But here, I pause.
Years have brought me to this place, to this pier on a shallow pond where I squint into the shimmering brilliance to see light coming into the world, warming my chest with a Love the bitter wind cannot chill.
The brightness may burn my eyes ‘til I’m blind. But I cannot look away. Never. And even blind I would see and know you, the Light who comes in every light and love—and most certainly in the face we see each Christmas day.
Laughter is my praise to you, laughter in the cold wind as I lift gloved hands to sky.
Thank you. Just thank you.
Pr. David L. Miller