Saturday, March 23, 2019
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. (Psalm 63:2-3)
Better than life
Grant us spacious places, Holy One,
where our hearts roam free,
where the chattering mind
quiets, where consciousness is but
a blank, an empty screen, calm,
waiting for thought, image, emotion
to appear from hidden depths, telling
us what is deep within, waiting,
eager to be born, to live, in us, inviting
us to know the joy of being
who we truly are, expressions
of your holy love, given
to earth that Love may live,
that Beauty may shine, breathing
life through our lives, always
more precious than we know.
Each one, every one, unique, appointed
for a holy purpose, to speak, to shine
with the Love who is better than life.
Go now, into your day, every day
knowing the Love you seek … seeks
you. Earth and stars, the sanctuary
of the Illimitable, bid you open
your heart to see and know and
enter the ecstatic praise of the angels.
Pr. David L. Miller
Friday, March 22, 2019
Then Satan entered into Judas called Iscariot, who was one of the twelve; he went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers of the temple police about how he might betray him to them. (Luke 22:3-4)
Under the umbrella
Morning comes. The sun shines, and what is this ... hope? Joy? Yes, both. They are always connected.
From what miraculous source comes this uplift that fills the soul from earliest morning hours?
Even the gloomiest of Old Testament prophets could write, “Sorrow endures for an evening, but joy comes in the morning.” And so it does. Because that is who God is and what God does.
Joy arises from darkness of soul, and hope from the despair of losing yourself, the person you know you are and can be. It happens as the light of the Love Who Is Everywhere somehow touches and awakens that same Love living in the deepest recesses of our souls.
Whatever happens to us, no matter how lost we may feel sometimes, this Love remains. This Light still shines, however obscured at the moment.
The encroaching darkness of Lent daily moves us closer to hearing the greatest tragedy in human history. The evil one enters the heart of Judas who betrays Jesus to those who hate him. We know what follows: The One who is truly good and fully God among us is rejected, beaten bloody and hung out to die.
But even this happens under the umbrella, within the compass of God’s enduring love and power.
Evil has power in this life, but a Greater One works in all this. The One who is Love is always at work to make light shine out of darkness, to bring joy and hope from deepest night. In Jesus’ story … and ours.
That is the way God is. Always. And always will be.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, March 21, 2019
Now the festival of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was near. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to put Jesus to death, for they were afraid of the people. (Luke 22:1-2)
With gratitude and hope
We are people of gratitude and hope. As Christians, this is our orientation to life no matter what is happening to us. Whether present circumstances are sunny and bright or threatening and cold, we face each new day and every fresh circumstance with these attitudes.
Because we know ... God. We know the Love God is. We know what God has done and promises to do.
At the end of his life and ministry, Jesus prepares to celebrate Passover with this friends, the 12 he had chosen as disciples on brighter days back home in Galilee.
Passover is a meal of identity and hope. It recalls and celebrates the Exodus of the people of Israel from Egyptian slavery. This event marked their identity as a nation, a people chosen and cherished by God.
Passover also looked forward to the appearance of the Messiah, the Promised One who would usher in the rule of God’s mercy and justice, filling the earth with God’s holy Presence even as the waters cover the sea, the prophets said.
It was a meal of gratitude for everything God had done to choose, love, guide and abide with the people, and a meal of hope for a world so much better than the one we experience.
Knowing he will soon suffer rejection and death, Jesus prepares for the Passover meal where he will renew God’s ancient covenant with Israel and extend it beyond one nation to every nation.
He will expand the promises of God beyond one people to every soul ever born ... that we may greet every day with gratitude for the immensity of love God pours out on us... and with hope for total union with the Love who wakes us each new morning.
Pr. David L. Miller