Thursday, March 12, 2020
He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible … all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Let fear be gone. Let anxiety vanish. Let joy rise and courage fill your heart like the radiant sun of early spring.
You know everything you need to live with hope and grace. For you have seen the beginning of time … and you know the end.
You know the One from whom you come and the One to whom you will go at the end of your earthly journey. You know the energy of life and love that holds creation together, drawing all things into unity.
Everything is destined to become one, united in the love of our Lord Jesus, the Christ.
Look at him. Just look at him. Imagine him as he reaches out to bless children, heal the sick and comfort the broken hearted. Look at his eyes as he forgives those burdened by guilt. See how he rebukes hate and turns away those who judge and condemn.
Look and know: He is the beginning and end of all things … and of each of us.
Jesus is the face of the eternal Christ, who has been working in all things since the birth of time. He reveals what will evermore be—the Eternal Love from whom we come and to whom we go.
Smile and know: The beginning is love … the end, too.
Pr. David L. Miller
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Real spiritual growth moves us toward being magnanimous, literally big-hearted. Anything else is an impostor.
You can know the Bible front-to-back and be able to quote a verse for every occasion, annoying your friends while doing so.
You can pray for hours, meditate on scripture and practice an array of spiritual disciplines fit for a monk, but if you heart doesn’t get roomy and expansive its all for naught. You might as well save your time.
If you have not love, the Apostle Paul says, you are nothing, and you are definitely on the wrong road, not the way of Jesus, who is the way.
A contemporary assumption, growing rapidly in recent years, is that being Christian makes you narrow, judgmental. Christianity gets portrayed as anti-gay, anti-woman, anti- science, anti-intellectual; you get the idea.
Unfortunately, some Christians, including high profile preachers, produce enough arrogant, judgmental nonsense to suggest these perceptions may be correct.
But the real mark of faith is a new heart, an expansive, magnanimous heart that can embrace others and this crazy world God so loves.
If you’ve recently accepted or forgiven someone through a major change of heart, you can be sure God had something to do with it.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, March 09, 2020
Christ, however, was faithful over God’s house as a son, and we are his house if we hold firm the confidence and the pride that belong to hope. (Hebrews 3:6)
You are not alone. You belong.
You belong to the Love who greets you every time you retreat into yourself to pray your life and name you pains, joys and hopes. In the quiet space of your prayerful heart, you meet the One who shatters the existential loneliness that haunts every human soul.
So go there and pray, but do not stay there. The life of faith is not a solitary exercise but an invitation to belong to a house Christ builds as we are drawn into him.
All of us. As we are. Old and young. Accomplished and struggling. Sick and well. Progressive and conservative. All colors and ethnicities. All.
Christ joins us to each other, one people, one house. In our gatherings, we touch and know; we exchange the peace and break the bread of life to share—together. Never alone.
Christ is lives in our togetherness, and there we know his love as surely as we touch, hand-to-hand, and feel the warmth arms about our shoulders … welcoming us home, into the community of Love he is.
We need each other. In our togetherness, we meet the One who says, “You are never alone.”
Perhaps this has never been so important, for a terrible loneliness chills the heart of our society today.
Google the word ‘loneliness’ and you quickly discover hundreds of articles detailing the nature of loneliness, its causes and damage to our physical and emotional health.
So do not resist opportunities to worship together and meet with other believers. Receive with joy invitations to share food and drink … and your life … with others who, like you, need to feel the truth: You are never alone.
Pr. David L. Miller