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