The flesh of God

         
         
         

In my vast little darkness
         what is that, dim and moving?
                  A divine child blooms within.
                  
O rose-dawning, O splendor,
         O nebula unfurling,
                  how small you begin!

How might I tend you, little one
         who has chosen me?
                  How might I adore?

How do I bear you, Infinite Love,
         tender Life-Longing,
                  unfolding in me?

How do I become your enclosure,
          your safe passage,
                 an opening for you?
           
How shall we raise you up,
         set you on your way
                  to live your own life?
         

         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 19, 2014  Leave a comment

Magnificat

My soul is God’s glory. Amazing.
         I am awed. I am grateful.

The world thought me lowly
         but I am blessed.

I’ve been given the Holy One’s power: mercy,
         mercy I pass on to generations.

The strength of God blinds the proud,
         confounds those deluded by power.

The Just One takes down the powerful,
         vacates them from their boardrooms,

and raises up the dispossessed,
         gives them justice and honor.

God has filled the hungry with good things
         and sent the rich away whining.

The Great One has helped the little ones,
         with mercy toward the vulnerable,

as always, from the beginning,
         as promised to Abraham and Sarah,

our ancestors,
         and forever.

(Luke 1.46-55)

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 18, 2014  Leave a comment

Emmanuel

      
         
                  
Beloved, this day and every day
         I am with you.

You are my flesh; I your longing;
         you my muscle, I your nerve.

Each day I leave my homeland
         to marry you.

I abandon the palace of clouds
         to blossom into this world.

I touch you in the feel of smooth stone,
         sound of the sea.

I wrap arms around you
         in those you love, and have.

In life I am your shadow;
         in death I am that shadow.

I am both sides
         of the curtain of absence.

The word without throat or lips
         rising in the deepest unknowing,
the unhearable voice in your night agonies,
         it is I.

I am your breathing, you are my song,
         you my trembling, I your strength.

We are what only can be we,
         this courage, this beauty.

We are this world’s dawn,
         the light that is we.

Go forth into this day,
         this long unfolding of us;

may it be for me
         according to your way.

         
         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 17, 2014  Leave a comment

Annunciation

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
An ordinary life you have,
like baked bread, the aroma of love,
like old wood, edges worn from kindness.

In a moment’s pause, a small step aside
from the rush, the proof—
the abyss opens. Heaven inhales.

Deep, wordless, you sense
wings, breathing, Presence.
Silence speaks.

Sunlight on a plain rock,
music of a flower not usual
for this season: You are Beloved.

The Infinite names you, adores,
finds in you, in your flesh, your voice,
your hands, a place to live.

What is within you is holy.
What is of you is of God, Mystery
spiraling out from you like a nebula, a child.

You will not cease being ordinary,
nor feel different. You will bear
the Divine made infant into the world

if only moment
by moment you say
Yes.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 16, 2014  Leave a comment

To find the child

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
To find the child
one must see the star.
To see the star one must go into the darkness,
the pain, the fear, the emptiness,
the hidden weeping,
the heart’s dark wounds.
Only in the darkness
         can the be stars seen.

To find the child
one must hear the angels.
To hear the angels
one must listen in silence and solitude,
in perfect speechlessness,
in attentive adoration to the Mystery.
Only in such stillness
         are the angels heard.

To find the child
one must enter the stable.
To enter the stable
one must stoop,
decline all palaces, all safety,
all familiarity or fortification,
and settle into poverty.
Only in such humility
         is the stable entered.

To find the child
one must see the birth.
To see the birth
one must be awakened
to the heart of all things
beating in one’s soul,
the light of God shining in one’s hands.
One must be willing to speak
alone with one’s eyes.
Only in awakening
         will the birth be seen.

         To find the child,
         seek in the darkness,
         lay your heart open,
         and discover therein
         light unconquered.

     
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 15, 2014  Leave a comment

Advent

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         
In the black
darkness
little fists of light,
glimmering, moving.
They will become
stars, hands, arms,
a choir swooping around us.

In the black
mystery
a spirit, a moving,
a pouring out.
It will rain upon us,
sweep us like wind,
to comfort those who mourn,
to brace the oppressed,
to build up ruins,
to make ruins worthy
of the One who will re-
work the black stones.

In the black
days
the messiah
enters the world
from beneath
the black streets.
He knows what he’s
getting into.

In the black
people singing,
a tear,
a cry of hope.
It will become us.

In the black
history of us,
the ruined cities,
little palms of light,
people
huddling,
singing,
looking ahead.
They know what’s
getting into us.

Deep Blessings
Pastor Steve
______________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com.

December 12, 2014  Leave a comment

Into this darkness

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
Advent takes on a different feel from the rest of the year: we hang lights, put up decorations, sing about peace and joy. But there always seem to be these dark intrusions into our Christmas preparations: untimely deaths, December tragedies, school shootings, protests over racial injustice, end of the year layoffs…. How unfortunate, we say, that these agonies come right at Christmas time.

But this is the true setting of Christmas. It is into this darkness that God comes to be with us, into our suffering and struggles, into our brokenness and sin, into our loneliness, into our injustice and even into our distracted shallowness and complacency. Christ chooses to be among us not in the grandeur of the temple but in the rough stable of our real lives. The words of the psalms and the prophets that lead us toward Christmas are not happy congratulations, but the lament of the poor, the longing for redemption. The cry of the oppressed, the song of the widow, the silence of the people searching for the way, this is the song of Advent. This is the world that God enters into to accompany, to bless, to heal, to change. The tragedies we lament don’t intrude on Christmas: it is Christmas that intrudes on the ways of the world.

Advent is when we lift up our heads in the hospital waiting room and the empty bed, in the tear-gassed streets and embattled towns, in the Ebola wards and refugee camps, in the dark kitchens and the breadlines— and rejoice: it is into this darkness that the Holy One comes to walk with us, into this sorrow, this difficulty, this hope. Here, now, for these people, O come, O come, Emmanuel.

         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 11, 2014  1 Comment

To bear witness to the light

      
         
                  
I am not the light.
I have come to bear witness to the light.
The true light that enlightens everyone
is coming into the world.

The light was in the beginning,
in me.
It grows;
it comes into the world.

May all that I do
bear witness to the light
that is you,
the light that is in me.

I am your witness,
your word,
your light.

Your light.

         
         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 10, 2014  Leave a comment

Spirit, be upon me

      
         
                  
Spirit of the Mighty, Gentle One,
come upon me, anoint me.
I see the oppressed.
         I name them; I hold them close.

         Make my life into good news for them.

I see the brokenhearted.
         I name them; I hold them close.

         Give me gentle grace to bind up their hearts.

I see the imprisoned.
         I name them; I hold them close.

         Give me true words and deeds to release them.

I see the ruined cities.
         I name them; I hold them close.

         Make me a part of their building up.

Spirit of God, be upon me.
I see my own ruins, my chains.
         Hold me close
         and set me free, that I may be
         your good news for others.

         
         

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight3(at)hotmail.com

December 9, 2014  Leave a comment

Uncharted journeys

No one in this story
knows where they re going,
only that they are.

Mary and Joseph walk to Bethlehem
without a place to arrive.
This was the easy part. They will go on,
vagrant, to Egypt,
a dream for directions,
dragging the wind behind them,
         erasing their footsteps.

Shepherds hear angels
and seek wonders—
how many little courtyards, do you suppose?—
looking for a baby
with nothing to go on
but a song,
         a map without lines.

Magi trek for years.
When did they decide not to turn back?
There is no destination,
there is no way,
only a star
         among stars.

You, trudging on toward meaning,
wandering among shadows,
your heart a globe,
map of voices,
the path becoming a path
         only behind you:

imagine the Coming One,
walking out of the light
toward earth,
its dark tangle of mysteries,
knowing nothing to come,
only the Promise,
only the nearing,
         only you.

Deep Blessings
Pastor Steve
______________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com.

December 8, 2014  Leave a comment

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