Thursday, January 30, 2020

Everyday salvation

Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying, ‘Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.’ (Luke 2:28-32)

Everyday salvation

Hope for more. Every day. Hope to see God’s living presence, fulfilling the divine promise to be present to save you from everything that crushes your spirit and steals joy from your heart.

The Holy One is always present to save. God is a saving God, always and ... in every circumstance. The Loving Mystery invites us to wake each day with a fresh and living hope that today, this very day, we can and will see salvation no matter what else is happening for us.

Simeon goes to the temple each day hoping to see the fulfillment of God’s promise. He wants to hold it in his hands and feel it in his heart. He hungers to be lifted into joy so that he can live and die in peace, knowing God’s faithful love.

Holding the infant Jesus, he gazes into the light of God’s loving presence and knows the salvation God intends for all people. For us.

Every day is a day of salvation. The living, loving presence of the One Simeon held and praised is present in everything that gives life, in every beauty, in every joy, in every moment that awakens love in our hearts. 

God is faithful love who is always present, coming to us in every love ever we ever know, longing for us to open our eyes to see and our hearts to receive the salvation that is ours. 

We experience salvation each time we feel the warm light of love’s presence making us whole and complete. Our circumstances may be wonderful or laced with loss and sorrow. Still, God comes in every love, every hope, every word of peace and promise that we, like Simeon, may see the face of salvation.

Look for this. Every day.

Pr David L. Miller

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Not common at all

When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), and they offered a sacrifice according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, ‘a pair of turtle-doves or two young pigeons.’ (Luke 2:22-24)

Not common at all

Nothing could be less conspicuous—a peasant couple in ancient Palestine doing what the law of their religion required. They go to the temple to offer the prescribed sacrifice.

There was no apparent reason for anyone to pay them much attention. This was routine in their culture, something that needed to be done, and they did it out of faithfulness to the God and faith of their people.

It is impossible for me not to love them as I imagine the two in common dress, bearing their child, ascending the steps of the temple mound—people of the land to whom those better off and better positioned paid little mind.

They remind me of the greatness of small things and the wonders so-called common folk do as they live and love, faithfully caring for children and the everyday needs life lays on their shoulders.

Long it has been said that the most significant things, the most beautiful acts, are done quietly, in out of the way places, by unassuming people … when no one is watching.

Routine, it seems, never is, but is rather the place of greatest loves and care, revealing the most profound faithfulness we can offer each other and the Love who breathes through smallest moments.

Of course, this was no common moment. Those two peasants carried the child who shines with the light of the divine heart. But then, we bear that light, too, our privilege and joy to play a part, however small or unnoticed, in God’s great love affair with the world.

Not common at all.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, January 27, 2020

Morning Mystery

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, so that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. (Psalm 90:14)

Morning Mystery

Hands in the sink, immersed, the water hot, dishes from last night and morning’s breakfast. First, the small plates, the cup from which I drank tea, three coffee cups, a glass, a few forks, the knife bearing a trace of peanut butter, the spoon with which I ate oatmeal.

Each washed in the warmth embracing my hands, lifted from one sink to the next, there to be rinsed in water hot from the tap, soap draining off each one until the clear glass bowls glisten wet, ready for the white towel.

Out the window, a flash of red splits the dense, January gray, and perches on the birch, a woodpecker? What are you doing here? Don’t you have someplace warmer to be?

Back to the bowls, the small plates, the cups, each rubbed dry and stacked atop their fellows in the cupboards.

But what is this within? From where does it come?

Amid mundane repetitive motions, daily chore becomes prayer; wordless but undeniable love awakens within and warms body and soul … even more than the water that is grace and balm on winter hands.

A simple task, the mind barely engaged, becomes prayer in itself, love filling the heart and speaking a deep, silent thank you for one’s life.

Neither heart nor mind summoned this moment. It just is. It just comes, unbidden—this Heart deeper than my own filling every inward space, this Love who invites me to love it all, the whole mysterious mess of living, knowing at the heart of it … and at the heart of the mystery that is myself … lives this Mystery.

A holy gift, all of it. Everything. Thank you.

 Pr. David L. Miller