Saturday, December 09, 2017
John [the Baptist] proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals.
The God who comes
Morning comes. I dress and stumble down the stairs. I put on my boots, a coat and hat and go for a walk. I walk two or three miles, setting a pace that takes me to a small pond, Feather Sound, in time to see the sunrise.
I need to feel the sun on my face. It stirs the joy of being part ... a tiny part ... of a universe where this wonder happens every day. The Love, the Mystery, from whom creation comes fills me and makes me feel alive, filled with hope for the new day.
Some days I do not walk. I go to my basement office, pour coffee beans in the grinder and make a pot of strong brew, steaming and black. I light the candle on my desk and turn on the computer.
I look at few verses from the Bible and listen to whatever thoughts and feelings come. Then I sit at the keyboard and write. And God comes ... at the tip of my fingers, as I write whatever hurts and hopes and joys are in me.
God comes. This is the message of Advent.
God came as the infant, Jesus, in Mary’s arms. That’s why we celebrate Christmas. But God is coming to us every moment because that is the way God is. God is Love and Love always hungers for the beloved, for us. God hungers to enfold us and fill us with the Love that awakens true joy.
God comes whether we are seeking God or not. God comes when we have done everything wrong. God comes when we are confused and the word ‘God’ has lost all meaning for us. God comes when the very thought of God brings anger because of sorrow or disappointment. God comes when our days grow short and our hearts are broken.
God is always coming to us in utter love to comfort and care, to fill the emptiness with the love God is.
So do whatever you can to clear away the things that stop the flow of God’s love and life in you. Take a walk. Light a candle. Call your mother ... or an old friend. Pray for someone on the news. Listen to music that opens your heart. Greet the strangers on the street. They’ll wonder what you’re up to. Sit in silence by the lights of your tree. Give a gift to someone in need. Make it generous.
Because Christ is coming. He comes wherever you are ... with comfort and care. Be ready to receive him.
Pr. David L. Miller
Thursday, December 07, 2017
A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; and every mountain and hill be made low; and the rough places a plain. Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’
There is wilderness without and within.
Wilderness is a trackless wasteland, a desert where the sky is always blue and a merciless sun scorches the rocks pale beige. A year can pass before a few drops of rain fall. It was through this that exiled Israel passed to return home from Babylon.
But there is also a more confusing wilderness, the twisted landscape of the human heart with all its conflicting emotions and the desires we imagine will lead to the joy for which we long. How to live? Which impulses and insights lead home?
For it is home that we want, home that we need. And home is to be in the Lord, in the Love who alone fills the soul. Home is to be filled with this Love so that we are one with this Mysterious One for whom we long.
But how are we to prepare a way, leveling the mountains and raising the ravines that get in the way of our journey back into the arms of the One Love who first sent us out on this earthly trek where we got lost?
And we get lost all the time.
All of life is a journey in search of home. But where is it, and how do we get there? The voice calls in our wilderness, “Prepare.” But how?
Maybe confusion and longing are the path. Maybe the way home is to admit to ourselves and each other that we do not know the way, that we need fellow travelers who accept our confusion and neediness because they, too, are struggling to find their way.
Maybe it is then that Love finds a space to breathe in us, and we realize home is closer than we thought.
Pr. David L. Miller
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
John [the Baptist] proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
He is coming
There is no shortage of expectation as Christmas draws near. The sources are too many and too obvious to name: presents, parties, time with family and friends, the arrival of faces we see too seldom.
Tears are closer this time of year, too. Colored lights and old, familiar songs stir memories and moisten eyes. Longings long buried bubble to the surface in unexpected moments even as we dismiss them as ‘just something in my eye.’
That’s a lie, of course. It something in our soul. No, it is our soul calling us home to ourselves and to a Love much greater than we can ever fully know.
So listen to the voice of your longing. Welcome the ache of yearning. Let it wound you, for only then do you realize you were made for much more than you imagined.
You were made to know a Spirit Most Holy bathing your restless heart in peace until quiet knowing fills you and silences every anxious voice within.
He is coming. He is always coming, as near the voice of your longing.
So name the ache inside. Speak the desire of your heart. Cry out with joy when delight fills you at the wonder of feeling alive and loved. Pour out your hunger for a Love that seems always beyond your reach.
It is not. For he is the longing, the tear, the expectation, the joy, the peace and the unrest that refuses to let you settle for anything less than the Love he is.
And there never has been a moment … nor ever shall be … when he is not coming to you.
Pr. David L. Miller