Monday, December 31, 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018

Luke 2:48-49

When his parents saw him they were astonished; and his mother said to him, ‘Child, why have you treated us like this? Look, your father and I have been searching for you in great anxiety.’ He said to them, ‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’ 

Knowing and knowing

Joy appears as I imagine the boy, Jesus, sharing and questioning among great teachers in his Father’s house, the temple. It is the joy of those who know God and yet know there is so much more that they do not know.

The Holy One is a great Loving Mystery. Blessed by God’s presence, we experience this Love flowing in, through and among us. It fills the heart, but we are not fully satisfied or perhaps only for brief moments.

For Love awakens the awareness that there is so much more that we do not know, more Love, more presence, more hope, more joy, more blessing to know and share. God is always more than we think or imagine.

Every word of knowledge, every experience of the Loving Presence in and among us opens the heart and excites hunger for more of the inexhaustible Love God is.

A new year is but hours away. Be grateful for all the knowing the years have given. Let it fill you with an ecstatic hope for more of the Love you know. The inexpressible wonder of our loving God will be present in every moment of the year to come.

It will be an adventure. Every year is an adventure, if you open your heart. Love always comes to teach you … more.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Sunday, December 30, 2018

John 1:14

The Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth.

Can you hear me?

Joy comes when we are filled to overflowing with love. And every day, the Word of God’s ever-present voice speaks. It sings to us and in us that we may know and enter the joy for which our hearts long.

The Word is not mere words but God’s loving power present in everything—all things and all people and in our own souls. When it catches your ear it awakens loving joy in your heart.

The voice of the Word is most clear in who we celebrate at Christmas, this infant Jesus.

In him, the Word becomes become a human being. He will heal and bless, pour out forgiveness and command justice for the oppressed. He will touch the broken with loving hands and wash the feet of undeserving followers. He will love them and all humanity to the very last, surrendering his life for those who fail to accept or understand him.  

At each step, God is saying “Look! Do you get it now? Do you understand what the Word has been saying in every love, every word of wisdom, every glimmer of starlight, every frosty morning, in everything light and life, beauty, grace, compassion and laughter you have ever known? Can you hear me now?”

I was recently in NICU, visiting parents and their premature infant, tiny, less than five pounds. I watched the parents and a nurse who was at the child’s side every moment. A physician entered to examine the child, listen to her heart and hold out a pinky finger so this fragile little girl could grasp it. There was so much tenderness and care, all awakened by this tiny new life.

In Jesus, the Word becomes a human being, a fragile infant, to awaken such love in us.

Open your eyes to see and your ears to hear. There is no place he is not, nowhere his love is absent, no place he does not speak … that you may know the joy of his presence.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

John 1:2-4

He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.


Mid-morning. The sun hangs low, making its weak winter trek across the southern horizon. White-gold cirrus clouds diffuse the light. Tiny stars sparkle brilliant, purest white on frosted brown stems of reeds and cattails in the marshy shallows of the pond.

A thin sheaf of ice coats the pond, shimmering with light, revealing yet-green water lilies frozen beneath, framed there, a portrait of winter’s art.

What is it saying? I want to know, for it awakens an intuition of love within.

I want to hear, for it is not the pond or the light but you who speak to my soul in this place. No, not speak, but sing. Love is better sung than spoken. And here you sing your wintersong … that I may know.

Everything that is came into being through you. All that is receives its ‘isness,’ its existence from you. Everything reveals and expresses the character of your divine heart, a heart of infinite generosity through which you give existence to that which doesn’t exist.

And why? So that all life may know the exhilaration of living, the glory of beauty, the sweet wonder of loving. You bring life to be and give it to each of us that we may know love, which is to say … you.

And here, again, at this insignificant pond, I hear your wintersong, sung in sparkling frosty stars on reeds frozen stiff in December’s cold.

But I am not. For I am here … with you.

Pr. David L. Miller

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Luke 2:8-10

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people.

The first word

What is the first word we hear? What is the first word divine messengers say to terrified human beings?

Do not be afraid.

In one form or another, this message occurs 365 times in Scripture, one for every day in the year.

It occurs in almost every scene in biblical Christmas stories. It is the first word heard by Zechariah, father of John the Baptist, the first word heard by Mary, Mother of our Lord, and the first word heard by Joseph.

Again and again, as if this is the most important thing we can ever know: Don’t be afraid. God is God, and God is all light and love.

Do not imagine you are alone with the fears and pains of your heart. God surrounds you even now. The sacraments of the Loving Mystery are always closer than you imagine, breathing peace and care into your heart through souls who truly know the Love who is, the Love who has one message in this holy time.

Do not be afraid.

Breathe and know: The Holy One is utter love, unlimited compassion and constant presence.

The things you fear can and will happen, but they are nothing to fear. For Love endures to meet you on every path you will ever walk, clothing itself in flesh to touch yours.

And in every touch, you will know.

Be not afraid.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, December 17, 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018

Matthew 1:17

So all the generations from Abraham to David are fourteen generations; and from David to the deportation to Babylon, fourteen generations; and from the deportation to Babylon to the Messiah, fourteen generations.

An unknown way

It is a long path from Abraham’s desert wanderings to the birth of a peasant child in Bethlehem. But not for you, Holy One.

You are eternal, everlasting. You see the entire stretch of human time in an instant, all at once. Everything that happened in the centuries before Jesus’ birth and everything since is not even a moment to you, but eternally present.

But not we, mortals, for whom time itself is a mystery. We wander through our years, planning, yes, but never knowing what comes next and often doubting whether our hoped-for fulfillment will come to us.

We walk an unknown way, just like all those who heard promises of the Messiah but wondered if the Beloved for whom they hoped would ever arrive.

But you, my Beloved Lord, you know. Our ways and paths are all known to you. You see how all things fit together and are working to bring your salvation, your living and loving presence, to each us.

You work through every moment and each second of time, through every misstep, every forgotten event, success or set-back to accomplish your purpose.
And your purpose is that we may meet and see, know and love the Love revealed in ancient Bethlehem … that he may live in us.

So we wait and hope as we walk the unknown way, knowing everything is in your loving hands … and we always will be.

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday, December 14, 2018

 Isaiah 12:3-4

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say on that day:
Give thanks to the Lord,
   call on his name;
make known his deeds among the nations;
   proclaim that his name is exalted.
 (Isaiah 12:3-4)

That you may know

Joy is an inside job. It is not the rush of emotional energy released in moments of victory or success. Nor is it the happiness that sweeps through us when good fortune surprises. Joy is not dependent upon outward circumstances. It is deeper, rooted in the soul.

It rises when the heart is warmed and filled by the presence of love … of God … living within us. This love is always there. It is our truest self. We are made in the image of an immeasurable love.

But most days we live far from this awareness, which is why prayer needs to be a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment experience.

It is also why Christmas is central to our faith and spiritual lives. At Christmas, we meet the transcendent God, the Infinite Love who always was and will be, coming to us in infant form, so that we may see and know the love God is.

Seeing him, we know: God is pleased to come to us, not to inspire fear but to awaken the love within us that is our true nature. We, created in the image of Love, commune heart-to-heart with the Love who made us ... and become the Love God is.

In this communion, whether silent ... or speaking friend-to-friend, we are filled with the simple joy of being. God fills us, as water fills a glass to overflowing, washing away all cynicism and fear, boredom and bitterness, all greed and guilt.

All that remains is the gentle joy of being alive and knowing the Love who is and was and is to come, the love shining in the face of Christ ... and in us.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Isaiah 35:3-4

Strengthen the weak hands,
   and make firm the feeble knees. 
 Say to those who are of a fearful heart,

   ‘Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God. 


I enjoy visiting people in the hospital. It’s not that I want to see people sick or hurting, but real conversations happen there.

Most patients are pleased to have a visitor because time and worry weigh heavily on their mind. There is also no hiding or pretending that there is nothing wrong. So we talk. Talking leads to honesty, and honesty leads to prayer.

It’s an intimate moment, hands holding hands, hearts joined in hope for healing and strength. Tears sometime appear. The grip of hand-on-hand tightens as hopes and fears are offered in love to the God who is Love. Strength flows through held hands and buoys the heart for whatever might come.

But what has already come ... is the God who is expressed in our flesh, as love and blessing are shared. No one needs to ask, ‘Where is Christ?’ because Christ is right there, in our hands.

We call it incarnation. This is what we celebrate in this holy season: God becomes incarnate, flesh, a body we can see and touch, know and love. In the touching, weak hands find strength, and fearful hearts know God is present, with them.

The incarnation of God most certainly appeared in a Bethlehem stable. Here is our God, cradled in Mary’s arms. Jesus is the human face of the Loving Mystery we cannot see.

But the Incarnation doesn’t stop there. It is not time limited. Incarnation goes on. The Holy One becomes flesh to see and touch, know and love wherever and whenever Love takes on flesh.

And it happens everywhere.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 26, 2018

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Romans 10:12b-13

[T]he same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.’


There is no one God refuses to hear. No one is too broken, too lost, too confused, too doubting, too non-Christian or too anything to be unwelcome in the circle of God’s grace. No sin is so great, no life so wayward and no opinion or understanding of life and God so wrong-headed that the Loving Mystery turns away.

The Holy One longs to live in intimate, heart-to-heart oneness with you. God is waiting, eager to hear your voice calling out to be heard.

It is only our arrogance, resistance and failure to pray that prevents us from entering and abiding in loving union with God

So turn from the assumption that you can or should be able to navigate your life without God’s help. Take the risk of trusting that you are loved beyond measure by the ever-generous Source of your existence.

Call out to God with whatever is in you. Seek blessing when you are hurting, lost and alone. Cry out for forgiveness when you know you are wrong and for deliverance when you are threatened and trapped. In moments of joy, exclaim your gratitude to One who longs for you to share your heart.

Don’t let pride or doubt stop you. The invitation is for everyone and most certainly for you.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Monday, November 26, 2018

Romans 13:11-12

Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light ….

Day has come

I always check the time when I leave the house for my morning walks. I note when the sun will rise then choose the route I follow to Feather Sound. I want to arrive at the west bank of the pond as the sun appears over the water.

The light may be clear and bright or filtered through clouds. Some days the purple, mottled sky reflects perfectly on the face of the water or glistens cold and pink on snowfall. Other days I see only a gray smudge in eastern sky.

It is never the same. Each day is a unique experience of light coming again to my little place on this earth, telling me … once more … where I live and when.

I live in a world where day has come, where the light of Christ has shined and shines still. Night has passed. Day has come. We have seen the face of God. We have witnessed the light of the divine heart illumining our world.

Morning light awakens the heart, a smile and a prayer of thanks for the light of Christ that lives in us and in this world at the dawning of each new day.

So lay aside all sadness and fear. The light of Christ has dawned and will again, igniting a hope as pure and clear as candles soon lit on our Advent wreaths.

Pr. David L. Miller

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Saturday, November 24, 2018

John 6:27

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.

Soul food

Eternity kisses the soul in moments when love floods our inmost being. Surety fills heart and mind as we know the One who made us living within, filling us.

This is eternal life, the life of eternity … now.

We cannot give ourselves this life of joy and hope. It comes as a gift Jesus is pleased to give as we draw near and feast on his words, as we open our hands to receive the blessed sacrament of his body and blood, as we pray knowing our hearts are heard, and as we live the love he awakens in our souls.

His singular invitation is for us to know him, know the truth and the life in his words and actions. In knowing Jesus, the life he is awakens in us, filling us with the wonder of the divine life in him.

Seek this every new day. Set aside time to listen to him, to imagine him as he speaks and walks among his disciples and as he reaches out in compassion for the broken.

Do not let the busyness of life distract you from seeking what your heart most needs. For what we most need is to know him.

Simply sit and imagine his face looking at you, his eyes filled with desire to give you everything that is in him. Such is his desire, his love for you.

Find your private space, your holy place and just be with him. He will give you food that endures.

Pr. David L. Miller

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friday, November 23, 2018

Philippians 4:4-5

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near.

Knowing joy

Joy arises from the presence of knowing love within the heart.

The warmth of joy is not the rush of emotional energy that fills us in a moment of victory or success, nor even when good fortune surprises us in some way. Joy is not dependent upon outward circumstances. It is deeper, rooted in the soul.

It rises when the heart is warmed by the presence of the Love … of God … living within us. This Love is there, always. It is our truest self, as we are made in the image of an immeasurable love.

We live far from this awareness most days, which is why prayer needs to be a daily, hourly, moment-to-moment experience. Turing again and again to speak to the One who is always near, friend-to-friend, moments come when we are filled with the simple joy of being. For we know the One who is Love living within, filling us as water fills a glass to overflowing.

In such moments no one needs to tell us how we are to live, for all cynicism and fear, boredom and low esteem, all greed and guilt and bitterness are washed away.

All that remains is the gentle joy of being alive and knowing the Love who is, the Love who shines for each of us in the face of Christ, the Love who is always near.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Revelation 22:20

The one who testifies to these things says, ‘Surely I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!

With eager expectation

The prophet, John of Patmos, was surely wrong … and always right.

He expected the immanent return of our Lord Jesus to call down the curtain on human history and make all things new. But it did not happen.

History wends its weary way with no end in sight, and still we pray “Come Lord Jesus,” just like those who first received the book of Revelation. We do so because our Lord is always coming to us.

God is love and love always comes, seeking to touch and grace and walk with the beloved. The Lord Jesus is always near to accompany us throughout our journey. We experience the return of Christ each time we open our heart to him in prayer and extend our hands to receive him in the sacrament.

He comes each time we cry out from the depth of our longing for the Lord to heal the hunger and hurts and hatreds of our world, each time we plead for him to come to the injustice and destruction that destroys the lives of millions.

Jesus is always coming near because he is love and love needs to give itself away.

So we do not fall asleep or into apathy. We do not live in doubt or sorrow but with eager expectation, knowing our Lord comes not only at the end of time, but here, now, today, to bless us with the presence of the Love for which our hearts long.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 19, 2018

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Revelation 21:5-6

And the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.’ 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. 

Only your love

I am making all things new. There is only one thing that can make the world truly new—the Love God is.

All things in heaven and earth are to be filled with fullness of divine love. This is why we pray. This is what we pray for. This is what we most need for the world and for ourselves—to know the love that has neither beginning nor end flowing through our world and our hearts.

We ache to feel a wave of immeasurable love swelling up within, lifting us above our burdened selves into the freedom of truest joy. But the tired, old world weighs leaden on our hearts.

Wildfires rage in California. Mass shootings spill the blood of innocents, again. Political infighting roils the nation. Refugees are denied the mercy they so badly need, and the pathetic images of starving children stare blankly amid the rubble of war in Syria and Yemen.

We hear such litanies day-after-day, but we do not settle for life as it is. We want more because the Spirit of God within us always aches and cries out for the Holy One to deliver our world from death and disease, war and famine, from ancient hatreds of racism, sexism, terrorism and every other ism that wounds the world.

Look and see. There are signs of new life even now, for the Holy One never ceases to pour divine love into our tired, old world ... and us.

So we pray, “Come, Lord Jesus, make all things new. Stir us to live in love that we may make your holy dream come true. We ache for the newness only your love can give.”

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, November 12, 2018

Monday, November 12, 2018

Luke 23:42-43

Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

With me

The most sublime desire of our human hearts finds satisfaction here: You will be with me.

This is what we most need, to be with the Love who seeks always to be with us—and is, right there on the cross.

The Loving Mystery seeks us where we feel most lost and alone, most forgotten and cast off, when our hearts have no hope and surrender to sadness and anger.

Even there, especially there, God is present, sharing our pain and full of promise. Today, you will be with me in paradise.

Isn’t this what paradise is? It is to be with this great love, to know great love embracing all that you are, pain and joy, sorrow and hope. It is to be aware of this great love deep within, bubbling with hope that you are not and never will be lost.

And you won’t. For everything that is and everything you are is encompassed in this great love from whom we are never separate and with whom we will always be.

God’s nature is most clearly known in the cross where great love hears our cries, shares our sorrows and bears us into the paradise of the divine, loving presence. Today and forever.

Pr. David L. Miller

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Colossians 1:15-17

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible … all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

You know

You have seen the beginning … and know the end.

You know the One from whom you come and the One to whom you go at the close of your earthly journey. You know the energy of life and love who holds all creation together, seeking ever to draw all things into loving unity.

Everything is destined to become one, united with the Loving Mystery who reveals the divine will in our brother and Lord, Jesus the Christ.

Look at him. Imagine his face blessing children and healing the broken. Imagine, too, how he rebukes all who would burden our souls with injustice, guilt or harsh demands. Look and know: He is the beginning and end of all things … and of each of us.

Jesus is the face of the eternal Christ, the cosmic Christ who works in all things since before the beginning of time. He reveals what is and was and will evermore be, a Love who creates and draws all creation into unity with Immeasurable Love.

The fullness of the fullness of God lives and speaks, blesses and heals through him. So we know: The beginning is life and love … and the end, too.

Look at him and know. Look at him and live.

Pr. David L. Miller

Thursday, November 08, 2018

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Psalm 24:7

Lift up your heads, O gates!
   and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
   that the King of glory may come in.

You are the reason

You were not created to live in fear but with joy, to welcome the victor over every fear each new day.

God is like a victorious warrior returning from battle to Jerusalem. The city gates are thrown wide open in ecstatic joy to welcome the victor to the holy place, the temple, to shower the blessings of divine life and love, replacing anxiety with elation, sorrow with tears of joy.

The gates cannot open quickly enough to receive the victor in whose presence our souls brim, safe in the embrace of divine favor.

With each new day, we can pray, ‘Lift up your heads, O gates!”

Open the gates of deepest soul and welcome the Love who is victorious over all that furrows your brow and fevers your heart. This Love, this Holy One, comes to you anew every day, filled with the blessings of love and life.

Receive and know the victory God has won for you in the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. No death can hold him … or you. No sorrow is so deep that he cannot find you and break its hold.

You are the one for whom he has won the victory. For you, alone. Even if there were no others in the world. So lift up your gates. You are the reason.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Jeremiah 23:4
I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold

With an everlasting love

The desire of God is for you.

The Loving Mystery seeks always to bring the broken home, to find the lost who are scattered, to draw the beloved into the divine heart that we may live beyond every fear, knowing the everlasting love that refuses to let us go.

This is the will of God for which we pray each time we gather and innumerable times on our own: “your will be done on earth as in heaven.”

The Holy One creates us that we may live in a community of blessing, gathered with all God’s people and guided by caring shepherds who reflect the divine heart.

In Jeremiah’s time, the shepherds—kings and leaders—failed to protect and nurture the people of God. They did not seek God’s will for the land. The nation was scarred by faithlessness, invaded and the population carried into foreign exile. Bad leaders divide and cause ruin.

But God’s passionate love does not wane or cool. With an everlasting love, God promises to begin again, in every generation, to gather the beloved into the divine heart where every fear and terror can be stilled in the community of blessing.

This is God’s promise, fulfilled in the saving one, Jesus the Christ, the faithful shepherd who seeks always to bring us home.

Pr. David L. Miller