Saturday, February 24, 2018

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Mark 8:27-30

Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’ And they answered him, ‘John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.’ He asked them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered him, ‘You are the Messiah.’ And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.


The life of faith is one of expectation, holy expectation. We expect something … make that someone to appear.

We lean into each day eager to see and know and feel God … the Love God is … visible and knowable, so that our hearts might smile within us, alive with the joy that carries us through to day’s end.

Jesus lived at a time of high expectation. Periodic fevers ran through a land hungry for a Messiah, a God-ordained figure who would bring deliverance, physical, political and spiritual.

I wonder how Peter came to the conclusion that Jesus was the One. What did he see? What did he feel? What did he remember from the Scripture that led him to the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah?

For me … it is always the Love I see and know in him. It is the wonder of a healing touch, the gentleness with the children and the anger at all that mars and defaces the richness of human thriving. He loves like God loves.

I wake each day expecting that somewhere, somehow, in someone that Love will touch me.
It’s what faith does.

Pr. David L. Miller     

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Friday, February 23, 2018

Romans 4:3-5

For what does the scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.’ Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. 

Just be

Just be. That is the welcome invitation hidden in these words. Just be with me and know ... it is okay. You are ok. Perfect? Hardly. But wanted and welcome. Always.

The Holy One invites you to come close and live in heart-to-heart communion. You cannot do that if you are always wondering, “Am I good enough? Do I have to prove myself? Will I have to do something today to make up for yesterday?”

Let it go. Let it all go.

There is no need to prove yourself or earn your way into the good graces of the God who is grace and love beyond all knowing, poured out for us in Jesus Christ.

The Holy One invites us ... welcomes us ... into a true friendship where we know the divine heart and share our own hearts with God.

Frankly, I don’t like the language of righteousness and justification. It feels cold to me, legal and impersonal. But it is here, in Scripture, amid a rigorous argument about how anyone can be right with God.

And it bears good news: God has made everything right through Christ. So it’s okay. Just be.

Pr. David L. Miller

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Matthew 4:1-4

Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, ‘If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.’ But he answered, ‘It is written, “One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” 

Know this

Forgetfulness lies at the root of every temptation. We forget who we are. We are beloved. The Holy One has promised never to abandon or betray us.

Jesus knew. He was constantly aware that God’s promise and nearness accompanied him wherever he went. He trusted God’s Spirit would provide what he needed each moment as he revealed God’s kingdom.

He did not fall into the temptation to use his power to serve and protect himself. He used his power for others, knowing his security rested in the eternal, unfailing love of God.

Every day, each new morning we should rise and remind ourselves who we are ... and who God is.

God is the Loving Mystery whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere.

And we are the beloved of this great God who goes before us into every circumstance, hungry to bless us amid the wilderness of living.

Knowing this, we can live with open hearts and gentle confidence, using our power to serve the Love who loves us.

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Psalm 77:5-8, 11

I consider the days of old, and remember the years of long ago. I commune with my heart in the night; I meditate and search my spirit: ‘Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has his steadfast love ceased forever? Are his promises at an end for all time? ... I will call to mind the deeds of the Lord; I will remember your wonders of old. 

Remember joy

Having presided at many funerals, I know few things are quite so sweet or powerful as moments of laughter as we tell stories and remember the grace of being human ... together. God’s love pierces our gloom in such searing moments and tells us nothing is ever lost because the love of God is steadfast.

There is an old bit of spiritual wisdom. When in desolation remember moments of consolation.

When in sadness, remember times of joy. When struggling, remember when you felt satisfaction in your work and the life you lead. When your heart grows heavy and negative thoughts prevail, send your mind to moments when the light of life filled you. Remember feeling glad to be alive as you enjoyed the grace of companionship and the beauty of sun and sky.

Remembering ... is re-membering. It puts our broken hearts back together again so that we feel whole. Sadness endures for a time, but joy will come. For the love of God is steadfast and true, ever ancient, ever new.

Wait and know. Grace comes.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, February 19, 2018

Monday, February 19, 2018

1 John 1:8-9

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Hold me to it

A black Jesus drew me into to a side chapel in the great Gothic cathedral in Barcelona, Spain, last fall. I almost walked by but the sight of him on the cross would not let me.

He was leprous and beaten, bearing the pangs of death as he hung before a half-dozen people praying among the spare wooden benches facing the crucifix.

I took my place among the benches and watched him. A great love for every suffering of every human soul whispered from the crucifix, “This love will never abandon you. This love will meet you everywhere you go. Look at me … and know. There is no place this love will not go for you.”

I sat and prayed—offering my unanswered questions, the wounds from which I ache to be healed, my uncertainty about the future, my craving to feel the joy of God’s love warming me through.

When words were done I walked to the back of the chapel but still couldn’t leave. Turing to the crucifix, I shook my finger at Jesus. “I’m holding you to this … this love,” I whispered. I’m holding you to this.”

“It’s okay,” came his reply. “That’s what I am for. Hold me to it.”

Pr. David L. Miller