Saturday, January 19, 2019
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened … . (Luke 3:21)
This is the way it is. In prayer, real prayer, in opened-hearted, radical honesty, heaven opens, and we enter the Holy Presence where nothing else matters but being with you, Holy One.
Such is your eternal invitation: “Come, be with me. There is no need for you to be … or to feel alone. There is a place here beside me.”
Jesus sits on bank of the stream where he’d been baptized and prays, his heart open to the Eternal Presence which fills him, a holy knowing in the depth of soul.
The empty place beside him beckons. This is our space, the place of belonging and knowing the Everlasting Love who lights him from within.
It is the place of prayer, where nothing is out of bounds, where everything can be said and all that we are is welcome. Anger, feelings of failure, the joys for which we hope and the fulfillments that elude, pain and confusion about who we are and what we really need—everything.
Prayer may be peaceful as a gentle stream or a bitter struggle to find something to hold onto in the tempest of living lest we drown in a sea of restless emotion.
So come, bring whatever you are and everything that is in you to Christ who bids you to sit in that empty place beside him.
Release everything. Heaven will open, and you soon will rest in the Love who always has a place … for you.
Pr. David L. Miller
Saturday, January 12, 2019
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ (Luke 3:21-22)
Me, too. I am well pleased, blessed to know that Jesus stands in the water with all the others who came to John the Baptist.
For this means he stands with me, with all that I am and all that I want to be but am not, with my hopes and fears, with dreams that can never be and wounds that will never quite heal in this life.
He is there … beside me, and this enough for me. It is enough to know this great and unsurpassable love who chooses to stand should-to-shoulder with me, where I am, with all that is in me.
It frees the heart and releases tears of joy that praise God in ways no words ever can.
The baptism of Jesus by John was a problem for early Christians. Did this mean John was greater than Jesus? Did it mean he needed to repent of his sins like those who came out to be baptized?
No, it meant Jesus stands with all those who hope for a better world where all things are bound together in love, peace and justice, where the great love of God is at the center of everything.
Jesus chooses to be there, standing in the water, with us, sharing our hurts and hopes … and the love that heals.
It is enough.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, January 07, 2019
When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy. On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:11-12)
There is a stain glass window across the sanctuary from where I sit. I look at it nearly every Sunday, especially this time of year after Christmas.
The window is a modern depiction of two abstract figures, Mary and Joseph, kneeling beside a manger. The tiny hands of a child appear barely over the brown manger’s edge.
A great starburst explodes in the sky above them, and a pronounced angle of light descends directly to the child in the manger. The low angle of the winter sun illumines colors of glistening white and gold through the window and sets the star ablaze.
Everything I need to know … about Jesus and about the Light that illumines all history and every heart … is captured for me in this image.
The window speaks to my heart of a Light who has shined in all history, a Light of life and creation, of mercy and care, of everything that is good and right and beautiful in the world.
It tells me this Light takes a human face that I may see and touch, imagine and know the Love who is the Source of my life and of all that lives in this and every universe.
I look and wait for the light to illumine that star, and I smile every time I see it, more and more as the years pass. It awakens the joy of knowing the Light of Love God is, and opens the eyes of my heart to the Light who shines in every time and place.
Like the Magi, watch for starlight, and joyfully give yourself to the love the Light awakens.
Pr. David L. Miller
Saturday, January 05, 2019
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.
A day is not enough, not nearly. We need and want to be with him every day. This, exactly, is Jesus’ invitation, Come and see, not once or twice but each day.
Come and be with me, Jesus says. Set aside silence to give me your heart, whatever is there. I want you to be with me that you may see and know, feel and be transformed into that which I am, a living expression of the Everlasting Love who has no beginning and who is the end to whom all things go.
Knowing this Love every day we truly feel like and become the human beings we are. We are made by and for this Love who is beyond all names.
Resolutions for the new year quickly fail amid the routine demands of living, but make this one central to your year:
Each day resolve to spend time alone listening to your heart and offering what is there to God. Speak to Jesus as one friend to another and rest in the presence of the Love who wants you.
Each day make a conscious effort to bless someone through a touch, kind words or actions. Each time you do this, you place yourself in the flow of God, the current of Love that springs from the depth of the divine heart and flows through all creation.
Each day this year, come and see the Loving Mystery who hungers for you. At year’s end, you will be more alive and more yourself than you have ever been.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, January 03, 2019
‘Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?’
The air we breathe
The house of the Father is anywhere we can truly be with God.
God doesn’t dwell in a house made by human hands, but in the universe fashioned by Eternal Love. God is the Love who is everywhere … seeking to be known in everything.
We, on the other hand, are always embodied somewhere … in this place or that. And some places distract us from what is most essential to the joy we desire to know.
But there are places where our hearts attune more easily to see and know, to commune and enter relationship with the Loving One who is everywhere at once.
So, it is important to know what the Father’s house is … for you. Where are the places you can truly be with the Loving Mystery and hear the voice of the One who so desperately wants to be heart-to-heart with you?
We need ways and places to be silent and listen to our soul. The Father’s house is a quiet place where the noise of the world fades and doesn’t intrude.
But it may also be the local pub, a living room, time with good friends, walking a busy street where love fills you.
The Father’s house appears anywhere human hearts share what’s in them, knowing it is okay to be wrong and that there is no special prize for being right. All that matters is knowing … love, for every love breathes the Love God is.
For each of us, the Father’s house is any place and every place where Love is the air we breathe.
Pr. David L. Miller