Morning devotion: The Shepherd’s voice

Morning Devotion 2019

May 15, 2019

[T]he sheep follow [the shepherd] because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.’ (John 10:4-5)

The Shepherd’s voice

The shepherd’s voice resonates deep within us. We recognize the voice for it is the voice of a great and unsurpassable Love, a Love we know because our souls are made in Love’s image.

Soul, a word so impossible to define, is the presence of this Love within the human being, longing for communion with its unlimited Source. Only so, do we know ultimate safety and peace and freedom to be whatever it is we truly are.

The soul hears and recognizes the Love who is its Source in all that is born of Love—in kindness, in sacrificial acts of care, in heartfelt service, in true friendship, in those who carry on in hope when life is most difficult.

The voice of the shepherd is heard in all of this and more. Each such sounding of Love in our soul in some measure fills and fulfills our hearts, unless we have succumbed to the illusions of the world that suggest fulfillment is about personal victory and getting more than others.

Our souls are made by and for the Love who is creation’s Source. We can and do forget this. All of us do, and some never know.

There are those so abused or simply denied the Love the soul craves that they cannot hear or trust the deepest cry of their own hearts to know Love’s care and presence. Something must break through the hard crust around their souls before they know the beauty of their own creation and the One who seeks them in every love that comes their way.

For it is true: The Shepherd, the Christ, speaks in every love crying out for our souls. Love calls for the beloved. Calling us home.

Listen, just listen. Love seeks you. Everywhere.

Pr. David L. Miller

Lenten Devotion: To know

April 20,2019

After this, when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), ‘I am thirsty.’ A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. (John 19:28-30)

To know

My soul grows quiet as Jesus surrenders his spirit to the Father. Tears form as he shows me how to live and die … and how truly safe I am.

He hands himself over to the Extraordinary Love who has animated him from the very beginning of his days. He knows that in death he will enter the fullness of this Love, whom he has trusted all along.

There is nothing new here. This is the culmination of what has always been. He handed himself over to this Love long before this moment. He has known this Mystery in his own heart, throughout his days.

So there is no panic amid his horrid end, no anxious fight for one more breath. There is only trust in the Love whom he has always know is always there.

He releases himself into the eternal mystery of Eternal and Everlasting Love who has filled his heart from the very start.

And for this, I say, Thank you, my brother. Thank you for showing me what I so often fail to trust.

You show me the way of living and dying, the way of trusting this Love who calls each of us and everything into being.

Handing over your spirit, you bid me to release myself, everything that I am, trusting Extraordinary Love will catch and hold me in every circumstance of life … and at life’s end, which is not the end at all.  

You want me to know the Love you know, the Love you are. 

And watching you, I know, more than ever.

Pr. David L. Miller 

Lenten Devotion: The Truth he is

Good Friday, April 19, 2019

Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’ Pilate asked him, ‘What is truth?’ (John 18:37-38)

The Truth he is

Pilate’s question is exactly the right one to ask. What is truth?

This is not a question about facts and details but about the meaning of life, the meaning of the universe itself, if it has any meaning at all.

For the Pilates of every age, the meaning of life is power, to have and hold it, to wield it for one’s advantage. He is not an inordinately evil man. He is a personification and an exaggeration of common wisdom.

We use what small or great power we manage to accumulate to protect ourselves and our interests. There is a certain amount of Pilate in every human being.

But is this the truth of the universe? Is this … what it is all about? Is life a matter of getting what you want, protecting it and satisfying the demands of ego to be as comfortable as you can?

Or is there something more that calls us beyond ourselves into a greater enterprise? Does the universe actually have an overriding meaning that implores us to align our hearts and actions to its call?

It has always been telling to me that Jesus doesn’t answer Pilate’s question, what is truth?He just stands there … because he is the answer, his life, everything he is and does is the truth.

He is totally given and totally filled with an Extraordinary Love, which is the best name we have for God.

Extraordinary Love seeks to gather all that is in an eternal embrace, a great and holy oneness in which everything is imbued and filled with the Love who pours from Jesus as he simply stands there, refusing hatred and retaliation, loving in the face of evil’s rampart power, loving right to the end.

This is truth. We praise, reverence and serve this One … that our hearts may know the truth he is.

Pr. David L. Miller