Wednesday, September 05, 2018
But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
The wonder of it all
What do you do when your reality is better than your dreams? How do you respond when what seems impossible happens … to you … and you know and feel what you thought you would never know?
Tears and laughter.
Tears and laughter mingle in one great expression of joy and praise for the gift of being alive, for feeling what you feel, seeing what you see and knowing the elation of being truly blessed, truly alive.
Tears and laughter, the language of soul, overflow in ecstatic praise to God, prayer beyond the capacity of any words.
Tear and laughter flood your entire being with gratitude and love for life … and for the Loving Mystery who is its ever-abundant Source.
We were not at that stable to see Mary cradle her child or hear the excitement of half-dazed shepherds sputtering a tale of angels on the hillside. But we are as human as they. We know moments when the fullness of Love touches and fills us … when the Love God is becomes flesh and blood for us and in us.
Like Mary, we have held a baby in our arms and traced the unblemished curve of a tender cheek amazed at such beauty and innocence. We have been filled with love for the wonder and mystery of life, moved to tears and laughter at the privilege of being part of it all.
We have known moments when gratitude for the simple privilege of being alive stirs us to fall in love with the very imperfect, incomplete life we’ve been given … and with the Unnamable Giver who is constantly beyond our understanding.
We know the ecstasy awakened when Love fills our being, which is to say when God becomes more real than our breath, incarnate and as undeniable as our own flesh.
We know the wonder Mary knew in her pondering, the joy that made shepherds skip across the field, back to their sheep, the exuberance unleashed when we feel and know God incarnate in the flesh, our flesh touched by Infinite Love.
We were born to know this … and to give thanks, in tears and laughter.
Pr. David L. Miller
Sunday, September 02, 2018
And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
How it happens
We live in a society where individualism runs amok. Everyone and anyone, it seems, can be a star on social media, getting thousands or millions of digital ‘hits,’ which, of course, makes them more significant (at least in their own mind) than those with less … or none.
It is important to stand out, be recognized and ‘followed’ more than others. If this sounds narcissistic, well, it is … very. It is all about me, and there is a lot of that going around today.
But our story, the story of Love’s Incarnation, is entirely contrary to the mood of the day.
The Loving Mystery puts on a human face that we may see and know and be transformed into the beauty that God awakens in us. How does it happen?
Quietly, out in a barn, where no one is watching, where no extra hands are available to help with the birth, where two people, exhausted from their journey must do the best they can … alone, strangers in a town where no one knows their name.
There is no one else present to see the birth of wonder. Immanuel, the Holy One, the Love Beyond All Telling appears here, not on Facebook or YouTube or in a place where at least a few important people might notice.
The child is wrapped in bands of cloth, common adornment of the poor and insignificant.
If there were no other reason for me to be Christian, no other reason for me to fall in love with the God it reveres, this story is enough. For it tells me there is no place God will not go, nowhere God refuses to appear, no corner of life that is left out or forgotten in the divine heart.
It tells me I need go nowhere but exactly where I am to know … truly know … the Love who puts on flesh and seeks me. And it challenges me to embrace my own imperfect life, so small in the great scope of the world and history, as an embodiment of the Loving Mystery who is pleased to dwell in my flesh, my mortal being.
The miracle happens in ordinary human lives, like ours. Exactly where we are. Today.
Pr. David L. Miller