Joy

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         I have said these things to you
         so that my joy may be in you,
         and that your joy may be complete.

                  — John 15.11

Oh, please.
Be done with your sober commandments,
fleeing from the wrath to come.

This is a gift, not an obligation.
If eternal life weren’t fun who could endure?
We are the joy in our grandmother’s arms.

See, God dancing in the aisles,
looping over the grassy hill,
rolling down sideways in the grass,

calling to you:
Shuck that solemn suit,
leave the dutiful wheelbarrow behind.

Don’t try so hard to be so seriously loving.
Let it explode.
Let joy come to you like a fart.

Let my little boats of joy
sail through your heart.
Be a kite on my wind.

All I want is complete joy, spilling over you
like an uncontrollable laugh,
filling you like I made you for.

Jesus said,
I am the light of the world.
So lighten up.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

May 8, 2015  Leave a comment

Conquer the world

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         Whatever is born of God conquers the world.
                  — 1 John 5.4

God is love.
The love of God,
who is the Heart of Love, who makes all things,
flows through you into the world.

Your love has the power to create worlds,
a small bit at a time, to be sure,
but it is immense power,
greater than your troubles,
greater than the word’s greatest woes.

The love that flows through you
is already consuming the world,
transforming it.
First it consumes you, and transforms you,
and then it changes the world.

How else could one with no power but love
face death saying
“Fear not, I have conquered the world,”
and then die, and rise?

In love you appear to lose
but the world is overcome.

Never mind how small your part is:
the God flowing through you
conquers the world.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

May 7, 2015  Leave a comment

As I have loved you

      
         This is my commandment,
         that you love one another as I have loved you.

                  —John 15.12

that is,
with tender attention
and stout resilience,
that is,
despite your blame and fear,
your betrayal yet to come,
your lack of repentance,

as I have loved you
when you were determined
not to deserve it,

that you love as I have,
withholding nothing,
excusing no one,

that you pour yourself out
for the unworthy,

as I have
pour yourself out
of your life
into eternal love
and as I have
rise
new,
perfected
in love.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

May 6, 2015  Leave a comment

Friend Jesus

         I no longer call you servants,
         because a servant does not know the master’s business.
         Instead, I have called you friends,
         for everything that I learned from God
         I have made known to you.

                  —John 15.15

My Savior I praise,
and give thanks.
My Lord I learn from and obey.
But my Friend, my friend Jesus
I love.
Comrade through the hard times,
who never left me, I love you,
nor will I leave you
in your troubles.
Companion on the Long Way,
who knows my struggles,
we will break the bread of this life,
every loaf for both of us,
laughing together.
Partner in the Great Work,
shoulder to shoulder,
we sustain each other.
We need each other.
We enjoy our company.
Friend Jesus, I give you my hand
in your healing, your welcome, your forgiveness.
I give you my heart
in your struggle, your pain, your loneliness,
for your sake, because I love you,
my dear beloved friend,
that your journey may go well today.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

May 5, 2015  Leave a comment

Tiny hands

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

      
         
When it seems great might
or wisdom is demanded of you,
great effort to prevail,

renounce your despair.
Lay down your burden.
Come down to this place
on this earth, this day.
Do something small and simple.

Notice the ground, the wind.
Boil an egg. Tie a shoe.
Make eye contact.
Put one foot before the other,
just for this day, this walk.
Let this breath’s life fill you
and give it back.
Be here.

Worms redeem the soil,
green leaves cover the woods,
one little thing at a time.
With such small hands
Being unfolds in you,
God creates the world,
and it is good.

         
         
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

May 1, 2015  Leave a comment

A word of hope

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
When it does not go well,
when fear is a metal clamp on the heart,
or self doubt is sand in our veins,
we sometimes only see the dark,
the knot, the pit, and we forget:
this is not where your story ends.
This, this very path,
tangled and tortured and unclear,
this is the way to a beautiful place.

The court proceedings, the chemo drip,
this is a doorway.
In the spring of a faith long frozen
the branch turns green.
In the muck of things gone wrong,
the seed bursts and begins.
On the long road that’s hard,
so hard, and you want to turn back,
remember: this goes somewhere.
Beyond the disaster is a green meadow.
You are going there.

When you take a stand and it’s lonely,
when you bear the slop of people’s anger,
or the hard stone weight of grief,
the Suffering One is with you.
“Today you will be with me in paradise.”
This is the way. You are going there.

 
         
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

April 30, 2015  Leave a comment

Cast out my fear

      

         There is no fear in love,
         but perfect love casts out fear;
         for fear has to do with punishment,
         and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.

                  —1 John 4.18

Holy Love,
         cast out my fear.
You do not punish,
         but only bless;
cast out my will to punish,
         to feed another’s fear.
You love perfectly;
         perfect your love in me.
Find my fear, hiding in its dark,
         my fear, lying in my deep places,
         and replace it with your love.

I breathe in: you touch my fear.
         I breathe out your love, only love.
My fear…
         your love.

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

April 29, 2015  Leave a comment

Christ, my vine

      
         
                  
Christ, my vine,
         you are my life.
I am your branch.
         Your life flows through me,
         your love flows through me.
My life is the fruit of your presence,
         my thoughts the vessels of your grace,
         my deeds the movements of your spirit.

I am one with you and with all your branches.
         I receive the life that all receive.
Our life endures
         only in our oneness.

Prune all of me that does not bear your fruit;
         though I cry out, I willingly surrender it.
Bear fruit in me as you desire,
         though I disbelieve or resist, bear fruit.

Christ, living vine, you are my life,
         and I am your living branch,
         your life-giving fruit.
Vine … and branch.
         Life … and fruit.

         
         

__________________
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

April 28, 2015  Leave a comment

Like a mother

         
                  
Like a mother cradling her newborn,
you love me, God:
with no demand, no expectations,,
no thought of judgment or punishment,
no need for me to be good enough
or to achieve anything,
but simply to be in your arms,
you holding me with devotion,
wonder and delight.

Like a mother cradling her newborn
I love you, God:
with no fear or demands or expectations,
no need for you to be good enough
or to achieve anything,
but simply to be in my arms,
me holding you with devotion,
wonder and delight.

Where would we be
without each other?

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

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

April 27, 2015  Leave a comment

Eternal life

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         We know that we have passed from death to life
         because we love one another.

                  —1 John 3.14

When we love we give ourselves away;
we leave ourselves and their boundaries.
The flower becomes the beauty, the scent,
the seed becomes the fruit, the taste, the meal.
The lover becomes the love, the beloved.
We rise from our deaths
and enter the eternal life of God.

This is how you know you’re resurrected:
you love people.
Without love you are still dead,
tombed in that hard, dark nut,
waiting to die to death
and love forever.
Loving, you are free,
a rose that never ceases
unfolding with beauty,
infinite and deep,
a spring flowing
from the heart of God.

         
         
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

April 23, 2015  Leave a comment

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