Tuesday, November 19, 2019
When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today." So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, "He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner." (Luke 19:5-7)
I must stay with you today. And then tomorrow, and then the next and then ….
That’s me. My heart leaks, which means I must return to you every day or be content with the ache that comes when I feel far from you. But this is not how you want me or anyone to live.
This gives me a clue about that must in your heart.
Zacchaeus needed you, Jesus. His life was a crooked mess. You invited yourself to his dinner table to let him know something he’d forgotten, but which I suspect he wanted back.
He’d forgotten himself, his identity. He’d cooperated with oppressors for so long, collecting their exorbitant taxes, that he didn’t know who he was, a child of God’s promise who was blessed to be a blessing, intended to know the exquisite joy of love passing through his being.
You knew this joy and wanted it for him, Jesus. I must bless this man, this lost heart, and bring him home. The voice of the Great Love in your heart moved you to call Zacchaeus down from his tree and back to himself.
Zacchaeus is a stand-in for every one of us. His need is ours. We lose ourselves. Amnesia absorbs our hearts, and we totally forget that we are children of the Great Love who calls us home that we might become ourselves.
And that is why I must be here, and it is why you are here, for me, for every one of us. Today and every day.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, November 18, 2019
As he approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. … Jesus stood still and ordered the man to be brought to him; and when he came near, he asked him, ‘What do you want me to do for you?’ He said, ‘Lord, let me see again.’ (Luke 18:35, 40-41)
The blind man wanted to see. And I? I want to be.
I want to be in your presence, Jesus. I want to know you, your life and heart filling me with peace and gentle joy so that I need and long for nothing more … than more of you.
Come to me, you once said, and I will give you rest. Most of the time I feel not rest but restlessness, my life incomplete and unfulfilled, failing whatever hope and promise you had in me and that I once had for myself.
Accusing voices rise from dark unconscious in the wee hours, taunting and reminding me again of how little I have given and brought into this world.
I know those voices come from the evil one, the enemy of our souls, and I know that morning light will scatter the darkness and send the voices back to whatever dusty, unredeemed corner of my heart from which they rose.
I know this. I truly know this. But ... there are nights the voices still haunt me, now well into my seventh decade when there is far more of this life behind me than ahead. Nothing I have done or can do silences them, even though they are less frequent now.
And this if the core truth. I cannot stop them. But you can. And have. And will again. This I know.
What do you want? You ask me … and all of us. What do you really want?
Only this, to see you, to know you, to feel my heart always in your presence, to know this inimitable Love filling me complete so that I long and need nothing more. Than you.
Pr. David L. Miller