Enough

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         

Enough of Easter lilies,
trumpets and choirs and angels
and their improbable wings
folded tight in the tomb.

Let me find glory in a single bird
working a bare branch,
your breath that wakens me,
in brown grass turning slowly green,
glory enough.

_____________________

Weather Report

Splendor
drably disguised
as grey days and banal tasks,
as a high pressure front
of chores and deadlines
pushes the warm, moist air of heaven
out of our awareness.
The sun will rise beyond our ken,
unless attentiveness breaks through.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 7, 2015  Leave a comment

Christ is rising

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
Easter sunrise service
we gather on snow frozen hard.
We shiver and shuffle for warmth.
The sun is late coming up
over the bare trees.

Resurrection seldom comes in a flash,
Jesus in the flowery garden.
The woman in labor knows.
This path can only lead to life,
but it is a long one.
It takes time for God
to make sorrow into joy,
fear into wisdom,
love into victory,
death into life.
Justice gestates.
Only gradually, with great trust,
does this life become the next,
with much practice and failure,
many jugs of spices left again
beside the empty tomb.
Day by day the bread is kneaded,
the light folded into our hearts.

Don’t stop watering the bare soil
where seeds lie working.

Christ is rising.
He is rising indeed.

         
         
Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 6, 2015  Leave a comment

Christ is risen

      
         
                  
Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

Crucified and risen Christ,
flood my heart with your light
and my soul with your living presence,
that I may trust the victory of God,
the victory of love over violence,
of life over death.
By your rising give me courage
to know that evil and oppression,
though they seem to reign,
have already been defeated.
You who bear me in your heart,
you have raised me up with you,
and set me free from my fear,
free from shame and despair,
free from all that would imprison me,
from all that would keep me
from loving perfectly.

Loving Christ,
I have died in you and risen in you.
May I walk with courage
into this new life.
Amen.

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 5, 2015  Leave a comment

Holy Saturday

      
         …there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
                  —Revelation 8.1

God taking it all in.
Heaven inhaling.

Even God has to wait
for love to gestate.

Gracious host even to pain,
staying with it,

the silence, the remorse,
the lack of remorse.

Forgiveness doesn’t come
from a shallow breath.

         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 4, 2015  Leave a comment

lynching tree

         

come with Jesus to the lynching tree
we stand aside and nod
good thing it wasn’t you or me
but just some lamb of god

we sing our hymns we know them well
we sing our righteous songs
and so we send that boy to hell
for that will right our wrongs

some people weeping in the street
they cry the lynching tree
but we can’t quit the judgment seat
the way it has to be

the boy is dead lay out the pall
it’s finished move along
but how come he forgives us all
before we know it’s wrong

how come the god we slight and say
that it’s all right to kill
the god who died comes back our way
and loves us loves us still

it looks so dark the lynching tree
so dark for you and me
but here’s the strangest thing I see
a bud upon that tree

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 3, 2015  Leave a comment

Wash their feet

      

         If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet,
         you also ought to wash one another’s feet.

                  —John 13.14

Lord, what was it like to wash Judas’ feet,
on your knees, with such tender kindness?
         An act of love, not irony.

What is it like to so humbly serve me,
to kneel at the feet of my failure and betrayals,
to welcome and wash and soothe me
as if I am your master?
         Pure love, without demand.

Give me this love, this gentle humility,
to wash the feet of those who oppose me,
to treat them with tender kindness,
to seek always to be closer to you,
on your knees below us all,
         serving in perfect love.

         Love one another, as I have loved you.
                  —John 13.34

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 2, 2015  Leave a comment

Chasm

      
         
Into all I am afraid will cast me away from you,
into all guilt and pain and unworthiness,
Jesus climbs like slipping into my skin.
Into all thin loneliness, all rage and flame,
into my worst ugliness, my most horrific evil,
Jesus enters and makes a home.
My violence, my failure, the little pieces
of the soul I was given Jesus gathers in his arms.
My whole self he fills, his wine in the chalice of me.
He enters that dark chasm between me and you
and becomes it,

and there is no chasm, no darkness
that is not you.

This assaults all I know. It must not be.
Whether or not I am forgiven
I am not ready to receive it.
I push him away, the you of him, the him of him.
I kill him again and again.

Again and again, he comes to me
and says my name

until I die in your arms.

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 1, 2015  Leave a comment

My cross

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
How handy that we have
in the battlements of our faith
this rack of shields:
that Jesus was sent to die,
that this is as it should be,
your eternal plan,
and it was long ago,
and it was not us.

But it is not your plan.
It is my travesty. My injustice.
I crucify you.
My fear betrays you,
my bitterness whips you,
my controlling nails you up.
My race shoots yours,
my consumption exploits you,
my comfort abuses you,
my nation devastates yours.

O God, this terrible cross
is not yours but mine.
I built it. I impose it.
Yet you die on it,
suffer my injustice,
and forgive.

How can I not cry out for justice
in horrified gratitude,
in holy longing,
at the foot of my cross,
my savior,
my God?

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

March 31, 2015  Leave a comment

Servant

      
         Christ, though godly,
                  did not cling to divine status,
         but in complete self-emptying
                  accepted the life of a slave,
                  a humble human,
                  vulnerable and mortal,
                  subservient even to death on a cross.

                           —Philippians 2.6-8

Gentle God,
your Jesus faced profound evil
and confronted injustice and violence
not with great force,
but with humility, powerlessness and love.
Give me the Spirit to live as Christ,
the heart to love,
the courage to forgive,
the trust to surrender my light to this world,
asking nothing in return.
I abandon all entitlement.
I empty myself of all willfulness
and seek your willingness alone.
Make me a servant of your grace.
Give me the deep humility
to serve, not to get my way,
to bless, not to win,
to love, only to love.
I pray in the name
and the humble spirit
and the encouraging presence of Christ.
Amen.

         
         

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

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

March 30, 2015  Leave a comment

The stone the builders rejected

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         The stone that the builders rejected
                  has become the chief cornerstone.
         This is the Lord’s doing;
                  it is marvelous in our eyes.

                           —Psalm 118.22-23

Jesus is not an underdog,
neither an unfortunate, unwitting dupe
nor a small, plucky hero who will get out of this.
No, he chooses this damnation.
Whom we reject God embraces.
Whom we condemn is God,
the least of these.
The leper, the prisoner, the quiet,
the misfit, the queer, the lonely,
the battered, the raped or impoverished
we judge and expel.
They are the Divine among us.
When we do not love them
we do not love God.

What we are afraid of, what we hate the most,
this is Christ on his little donkey.
He will be our king.

The criminal element our own hearts,
the anger, the fear, the lust for power
and for having things our way:
God is there, seeking our mercy.
The sorrows, the weakness,
the great, heavy unknowing:
this is Christ, entering the city.

The mercy we reject, the forgiveness,
the nonviolence and compassion
we forego for the sake of our anxiety,
the love we deny
God makes the foundation.
The holiness we forsake
God builds into our souls.
Even the death we cause
God makes the empty grave of our faith.
The Christ we crucify,
God will make our Lord.

It is the Holy One’s doing;
it is marvelous in our eyes.

         
         
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 unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

March 27, 2015  Leave a comment

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