Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Today’s text

Jeremiah 31-34

'Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall make a new covenant with the House of Israel (and the House of Judah), but not like the covenant I made with their ancestors the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of Egypt, a covenant which they broke, even though I was their Master, Yahweh declares. No, this is the covenant I shall make with the House of Israel when those days have come, Yahweh declares. Within them I shall plant my Law, writing it on their hearts. Then I shall be their God and they will be my people. There will be no further need for everyone to teach neighbor or brother, saying, "Learn to know Yahweh!" No, they will all know me, from the least to the greatest, Yahweh declares, since I shall forgive their guilt and never more call their sin to mind.'

They will all know me.

What is it to know you, Holy One? How can I say that I know you any more than the squirrels scampering across the patio can know me?

They bark curses at me when I rake up their autumnal bounty or startle them. Standing off, they assume a belligerent stance, protecting their turf, ready at my slightest twitch to scurry up the backyard birch, toenails ripping through peeling bark.

Do they know me? I suppose, but only as the alien who invades and occupies their space from time to time--and only as threat, a beast of which to be wary.

But they don’t know me any more, I suppose, than I can know you.

But somewhere and somehow I have come to faint knowledge that you are not threat, though you are always alien to me.

No, maybe you are a threat. You threaten the understanding of life and self that I fall into every time I think I am alone, every time I feebly imagine that life is only what I make of it, that we are cast-offs here on this minuscule but oh-so-wondrous planet.

And you are as alien to me as I to my squirrels, as they keep sentry over the bonanza summer’s sun has yielded, sustenance for winter’s long cold.

You are alien because you are love and unending mercy, who casts my failures and sins into the deep from which they shall never reappear. My soul is alien to such love, or is it?

Even now I know a love--for myself, for this beautiful earth and for this screwed-up rat race of a world where fear and callous meism moves so much of what we do.

Even now, I love it, and I love it with a love that is here, in me, alien though it is, for it is born of higher and infinite heart, so far beyond my own that I am reduced to the status of the squirrels.

Yet, it is your pleasure that I should know this moment, this love … you, … and fulfill again, your promise.

Pr. David L. Miller