Saturday, August 11, 2018
Where shall I go from your spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there;
if I make my bed in Sheol, you are there.
If I take the wings of the morning
and settle at the farthest limits of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me fast.
A giant eye stares from the top of a stain glass window in the church of my youth. The eye does not look threatening, nor is there any apparent compassion its steady gaze. It just stares at you from its place near the back of the church where everyone walks in … and walks out.
Look slightly to the right as you wait to shake the hand of the pastor, and you discover you are being watched by an unflinching observer who never blinks. I don’t know the intention of the artist—or the architect who placed it there, but I’d have preferred a different image at the church door as I departed.
Jesus' hands raised in blessing would have been nice. Something that said, “Go in peace, I’ll be with you … and waiting here when you return.” For that is the gracious message and comfort that meets us here: Where shall I go from your spirit?
Go, there is no place I will not be for you, no place I will not go. Go, just try to hide from me. Try to cut yourself off. Do you think Love surrenders so easily?
Go wherever and to whomever you please. Go where the road takes you. Explore every single hidden side of yourself. Go and imagine you can be alone … anywhere.
Not so. For I AM, and I AM there with you, walking alongside, waiting for you to notice Love attends your every step. I AM that Love.
I am not an unblinking eye that seeks out your every failing. I am not the Everlasting Seer ever looking over your shoulder.
I AM Encompassing Love, like the wind that caresses every contour of earth and sea, surrounding and enveloping you and all that is. Holding you fast. Always.
Pr. David L. Miller
Friday, August 10, 2018
Luke 12:27-28, 31
Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith ... Instead, strive for his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
I know what you want me to know, Holy One.
Come away with me, you say. Look around. Be where you are, wherever you are ... and breathe. For you and with me.
Breathe in the air of knowing there is One who loves you more than you can possibly comprehend.
Breathe in the air of freedom that is the Love I am for you. Always for you. Always will be.
Release all fevered thoughts and worries about who you are, about what you have done or failed to do, about what the future holds or about everything you think you must do. Most of those musts are self-imposed. Let go of them.
For that is not life. Life is knowing this Love, abiding, resting, feeling this Love around and within you.
Life is settling into the present moment, living what is, doing what the moment requires, then moving on, knowing that is enough. Life is knowing there is One who smiles on your very existence, eager to hear you laugh at the simple joy of being alive.
It is feeling yourself inside, surrounded and held by an Everlasting Love, knowing that you inhale this Love with every breath you take.
This is what you want me to know. This is what you want for everyone. Today.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, August 09, 2018
Psalm 63:2-4, 7
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary,
beholding your power and glory.
Because your steadfast love is better than life
My lips will praise you.
So I will bless you as long as I live;
I will lift up my hands and call on your name. …
For you have been my help
In the shadow of your wings I sing for joy
This is where we start each day, with a word of praise to the One whose sanctuary is not made with human hands. You, Lord, dwell among the trees and encompass mountains tops and broad plains, the rivers and streams that flow on and on, the waters giving a sense of timelessness … and peace.
I watch the waters, and I know … you, who are as timeless as the water’s flow, on and on, bidding me to sit at water’s edge that I may know that my life, too, is carried in the current of your love, made fresh by each new awareness of you.
Creation surrounds and holds us, each part speaking our name, whispering, “I am here. I dwell amidst this beauty. All you see is the joyful play of my divine heart. Come and know me.”
Fill my heart, Holy One, as I go again to woods that surround and hold me in a womb of living beauty where birds sing and deer shyly watch as I walk, an invader in their home.
I go to see their beauty, to hear the song of birds; that is true. But really I go to hear and know you, to breathe and feel your steadfast love that is new every morning.
Open our eyes to see and our ears to hear you in this earthly sanctuary that is our home … and yours. Grant us grace to see you in every grace and beauty, in each face we see, in moments of joy and those that call for our compassion.
Help us to see and hear and know your steadfast love. Today.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, August 06, 2018
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’
Always with you
It is a mystery to me why and how the faith I hold dear is typically considered a way of believing and not a way of being and living.
Maybe it is our own fault. Thousands of books, disgorged by Christian publishers for centuries, smugly parsed the fine details of Christian doctrine dismissing all those "other religions" which believe the wrong things.
But listen: Obey everything I have commanded, Jesus says; follow my teachings, knowing I am with you. Always.
This is not about thinking the right thoughts, holding to correct doctrines or believing a set of affirmations about who God is. It is about hearing and entering the struggle to live the way of Jesus, always knowing that the Love we have seen and known in him is ever near and always will be.
His teachings, which we are to obey, challenge every part of our lives, but they are not hard to understand: Be merciful. Show compassion. Live with generosity. Seek to forgive. Trust there is a Love who knows our needs and treasures each and every one of us, even those we do not like. But be thankful for them, too. They will challenge you to learn to live with love and justice so that you may become like the Loving Mystery, Jesus calls, Father.
And always know: I am with you, Jesus says, no matter where you are, no matter what happens to you, no matter how you feel today or will tomorrow. I am. And I am with you. Always.
We are invited to know this Love, not as an idea but as a deep interior reality. In knowing, our hearts open to become the Love who love us.
Pr. David L. Miller