Morning prayer

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  

Light of Dawn, awaken me,
         that I may always be mindful of You.

Warmth of the sun, fill me,
         that I may radiate the love of Christ.

Breeze of wisdom, give me breath,
         that all I say may be true and loving.

Embracing earth, receive me,
         that I may always forgive.

Songs of birds, delight me,
         that I may sing joy, sing joy.

Falling rain and growing grass remind me
         that I live and die into You.

Flesh of my body, rejoice,
         for I am Your vessel, I am alive,
         I am here.

         
         

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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 19, 2014  Leave a comment

Share

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         The Israelites gathered the manna,
         some gathering more, some less.
         But those who gathered much had nothing over,
         and those who gathered little had no shortage;
         they gathered as much as each of them needed.

                  —Exodus 16.17-18

God’s justice is not some illusion of deserving,
but that each has what they need, no more, no less.

Each laborer in the vineyard receives a day’s sustenance;
there is no merit, no earning, no difference.

Everything is a gift. God does not reward or compare.
God provides. It is we who divide and hoard.

The only people who resent God’s justice
are those who have unfairly gathered.

The only ones who make others work for their manna
are those who have more than they need.

Despite our illusion of having “earned” it,
all that we have is manna, given for all of us.

Don’t measure deserving. There are always those
who have worked harder, who have not been paid.

Your money and possessions, your education,
your skills, your access to power and resources,

the beauty on your morning walk,
the blessings you receive in prayer:

you have more than you need. The rest
is not yours, but has fallen upon you to share.

If you have much you aren’t a bad person;
you have simply happened into that station in life

in which it is your calling to share, to serve,
like a waiter in a fine restaurant.

What do you have that is for others?
What will you share today?

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 18, 2014  Leave a comment

Rob me blind

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Stealthy God,
in the dark
sneak into the vault of my heart.
Rob me blind
of all my silly little treasures,
my excuses, my wounds,
my faults, my sins,
my body, my personality.
Take me without my knowing.
Clean me out.

Leave nothing
but your light in my poverty,
the faint aroma of your presence.
Take my self, and leave only yours,
the infinite riches of your heaven,
your flesh pressed against mine,
your longing for who I am
about to become.

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.

September 17, 2014  Leave a comment

Manna

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         
                  
In the woods at sunrise voices speak,
dark, tunneling beneath roots.
Not uttering vast wisdom,
but saying enough.

Between our bodies some kind of energy,
not electric, but warm, a reaching.
In the day’s little catastrophes some light,
soft, awakening, enough to see by.

Crossing the desert of the living room,
the impossible distance from the store,
tired, or angry, or despondent,
desperate for escape, or treaties,

when certainly the gods have left you,
you are fed. The soul’s strange nourishment,
the morsel held in the palm of your disaster,
left in plain sight after every dark night.

Through your incoherent landscape runs
this steadfast mystery, the Holy One’s vow
that you will make it. A layer of dew,
flakes like frost on the desert floor.

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.

September 16, 2014  Leave a comment

Tip

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         

The Savior
does not always work miracles.
Sometimes he stops for lunch,
at local diners and places
with good food and lousy pay.
He tips really well. Really.

You are nothing big,
just a few bills
beside an empty water glass.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 15, 2014  Leave a comment

Seventy times seven

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      

         “Lord, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?”
         ”Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy times seven.”

                  —Matthew 18.21-22

Because you will find
that many reasons not to.

Because it will take that many times
to go through the motions
before you do it from the heart.

Because you have to keep setting
that burden down again
until you are free.

Because we never stop
letting go.

         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 12, 2014  Leave a comment

Red Sea

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
You’ve been wronged:
hurt, betrayed, accused,
robbed of something, someone.
The wound still bleeds,
smoke still rises in twin columns.
You can pretend,
and your ruse will imprison you.
You can rage,
and your rage will enslave you.
You can believe your deserving,
and your shame will bury you.

Or you can walk to the sea,
the sea at the end of the world,
the dark, chaotic waters of Creation,
the Red Sea bounding your Egypt,
the ocean of forgiveness.
A bitter Pharaoh will follow you,
but don’t turn back.
You will walk into the pain, up to your ankles,
the grief, up to your waist,
the powerlessness, up to your chest
before the waters part

and you walk free.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 11, 2014  Leave a comment

Forgiving

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
                  —Matthew 18.21-22

Forgiving is not forgetting bad behavior,
not condoning or excusing or minimizing it,
not pretending that it didn’t hurt, that “it was nothing.”

Forgiving is not about the behavior.
It’s loving the person,
and letting nothing, even their hurtful actions,
diminish or deter your love.

Forgiving is accepting what is—
that they have wronged you—
without desire to amend that,
to get even, exact payment
or get them to see your hurt.
It is accepting that the hurt is real,
and yet your love for them, and yourself, remains.

Forgiving is accepting the person,
even with their hurtfulness,
without needing to change that.
Forgiving is accepting yourself:
allowing yourself to be hurt or wronged
without the need to correct that
to know your belovedness, dignity and worth.

Forgiving is owing nothing, being owed nothing.
Forgiving is letting go of the past,
letting the hurt be in the past instead of the present,
choosing to stop hanging on to it, stop being chained up in it.
Forgiving is getting free.

Our forgiving blossoms from our being entirely forgiven.
We have been forgiven for deeper hurts than we ourselves forgive.
We choose to be in the heaven of infinite forgiving
rather than the hell of unfinished and never-ending resentment.
Forgiving is coming alive,
and entering into eternal life.

Forgiving is not a chore or obligation.
Forgiving is joy, freedom, compassion, and peace.
Seven times seventy times.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 10, 2014  Leave a comment

Sticks

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
         

         

My bother and I would take sticks
and throw them in the mountain creek
and run alongside our sticks as they went
through the swirly eddies
and the scary whitewater,
the terrible falls
and the long undulating runs,
sometimes disappearing in the foam,
sometimes blending in with fish
and other desires,
watching them with devotion and glee,
shouting or murmuring encouragement,
until they came out into the deep pool
where we would pluck them up like God
and congratulate them and thank them
for having borne us places we couldn’t go.

I looked at my brother’s back
as we went up the draw to do it again,
his little hands, his legs, his head,
with all those years ahead of us.

.
.

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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 9, 2014  Leave a comment

Altar

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

She whose gaze is heaven
has gathered up earth
and kissed herself into it,
breathed life into the clay
and made you
into an altar
for her praise.

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 unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

September 9, 2014  Leave a comment

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