Thursday, July 11, 2019
Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; otherwise, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.’ (Matthew 9:17)
Make me new today, dear Friend. It is not an unusual request. Normal really.
I often need to be made new, to feel the fresh air of morning filled with the awareness of a Great Love that is everywhere … and everywhere eager to greet me to tell me who I am.
So make me new again. Pour the wine of your loving presence into my tired heart. Shatter the shell of old hurts and sadness that haunt me when weariness settles on my shoulders.
Let me drink deeply of the Love you are that I may know, again, that there is nothing to do, nothing more to prove, no need to be anything different or better than this old heart that needs you most of all.
I pray with no fear, no doubt or worry because I know you. You have given me that singular privilege.
With a smile, even now, you pour the inebriating wine of your presence and burst open a tattered, old identity I have carried around much too long. Must is a big word in that old self. Should occupies a large space, too.
But there are no musts and no shoulds with you. There is only this Love that comes and breaks apart the idea that our value, our worth, is determined by our accomplishments, by building an identity around what we have done, as opposed to what happens in us and what flows from us when we know … you.
We are what your love makes in us, awakens in us. We are what we feel and know when inebriated with the Love that is fresh and new as early morning air.
Pr. David L. Miller
Monday, July 08, 2019
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, ‘Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?’ And Jesus said to them, ‘The wedding-guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast. (Matthew 9:14-15)
There are moments and even whole days when I feel and know you near, Blessed One. And there are days of longing when I do not feel the one thing I most need: your presence.
I hunger to be alive to your holy presence, my heart enfolded in your love, every moment of every day.
But this is not the life we lead as human souls. Instead, there are seasons of nearness and seasons when I must learn again that there is nothing I can do to make happen the very thing I most want.
I must wait for the time when your constant love is revealed to my inmost heart, moments when your nearness overwhelms every other thought and feeling, releasing the quiet, exquisite joy of simply knowing … you.
You are present always, in everything … and even in me. This, I know. You married yourself to this earth, joining your divinity to our earthly existence, a glory present in all creation and in the mystery of our own souls.
This is why I come here, to write these few words of prayer to you, that I might speak your name in hope that the blessing I most want will fill and lift me into the joy of heaven even as I live this life.
For heaven is every place and every moment you fill me. It is here and now as I spend this time alone with you.
Thank you for this time and for the seasons of our lives, for intimate moments of knowing you near … and for the moments you seem far off, telling us again how much we need you.
David L. Miller