Salvation is now

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

God says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time.
Look! Now is the day of salvation!

—2 Corinthians 6.2

This is your salvation:
you are brought into the present moment.
No shame or fear,
not chained to past or future,
only simply present,
in love.

You need nothing else
to be fully present with God.
You are brought,
whole and beloved.

There is nothing else:
no status, no reward,
no conditions.
No “or else,” no “else;”
just this.

In this moment
you are good enough for God,
who is enough for you.

Be here.
Look!

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 17, 2015  Leave a comment

Who you are

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         David said to Goliath, “You come to me with sword and spear and javelin; but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.”
1 Samuel 17.45

I see a lot in the “news” these days about what gender we get to call a transgender person and whether it’s right for a white woman to pass as black. As if we get to decide who people are. We who don’t even know someone give ourselves permission to write their story at a glance: you have this kind of body or that, so here’s who you are. It may seem slight and benign, but those judgments are the spears and javelins of violence. We judge you without knowing you, without hearing your story. We violate who you truly are, so that we can categorize you and oppose you, or use you, or convict you, or shoot you…

David pays no attention to Goliath’s outer nature, or Goliath’s judgment of David’s outer nature. He trusts in who he is and whose he is. Goliath doesn’t get to decide that. David knows his own story. And that’s who he is, not some snap judgment from a stranger. Of course David makes the same kind of judgment about Goliath, and that leads to violence….

Nobody gets to decide who you are—only God. It’s up to you, not society, to discern who that is. Sure, sometimes we’re wrong, but it’s our work, no one else’s. Actually we’re almost always wrong. We think we’re something other than God’s Beloved, something made up. Sometimes others see us more clearly that we do; sometimes they don’t. The work of our lives is to get clear about who we truly are and whose we are. The clearer we get the more fully we become ourselves. And the less we judge other people. We don’t fling the spears and javelins or sling the stones of judgment at them. We listen to their stories.

Never mind all those folks blogging and tweeting about what we get to call people. Stop calling them anything but their names. And never mind the judgments of others about who you are. You are Thou, Beloved of God. Get to know your true self, and live in that truth with courage. It will give you power to overcome giant obstacles.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 16, 2015  Leave a comment

Aging

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         
         Even though our outer nature is wasting away,
         our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

                  —2 Corinthians 4.16

As I pass my 62nd birthday I think about the gift of aging. Our culture encourages us to resist the journey of aging (“Look ten years younger!”) and sometimes aging is a pain (literally) but it’s a gift. Aging can give us the wisdom born of experience, the maturity of a calm focus that often eludes us in our energetic youth. “When you were young,” Jesus says, “you went where you wanted. When you are old someone fastens a belt around you and leads you where you don’t choose” (Jn. 21.18). Again is a journey of acceptance, receiving life as it is, not as we wish, or try to make it. It invites us to let go, to release the illusions of power and control, no longer defining ourselves by what we can do.

Aging reveals our souls. We can be less attached to power, security and self-image. We are less defined by our outer nature and more by our inner, where strength is resilience and perseverance, not force; and beauty is presence, not appearance. Our youth-oriented culture sees lives as abjects—bodies, really—but with age we see our lives as stories. As our bodies age and even if they become frail, our souls age as well. We come more wholly to inhabit our inner nature which is love. It is the vibrancy of our inner nature that gives our outer nature its beauty, even in old age. Our stories make even our wrinkles and grey hairs beautiful.

At 62 I’m not old yet. But a birthday reminds me to embrace the journey as I care for my outer nature, to become more truly my inner nature. No matter how the outer nature ages, the inner nature only gets better.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 15, 2015  Leave a comment

New creation

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

 

         If anyone is in Christ, there is a whole new creation:
         everything old has passed away;
         see, everything has become new!

                  —2 Corinthians 5.17

 

Let yourself become Christ,
let God’s embodied love become all of you,

the infinite love that births the universe
be your spirit, and you its body.

You let the symphony fill you
and you become the symphony.

And there is a new symphony,
newly created in you.

The whole world is changed,
the universe is created all over again.

Everything opens up.
Everything can begin.

Even the mountain knows it has been changed,
and the bird in flight rejoices.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 12, 2015  Leave a comment

In your garden

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

 

 

You walk in your garden,
enjoying what you have planted,
burgeoning, beautiful.

It has come from your hand
and yet from its own mystery,
each blossom a gift of grace.

You stand for a while, still,
taking in the beauty,
simply relishing being there.

You also know what you have sown
that is not yet up,
still hidden, gorgeous.

That, too, you savor,
the promise, the mystery,
the coming.

It is enough for you
to be here, to take it in.
This is its purpose, its perfection.

God, I too am still, sharing your delight
in the garden you have planted
in me.

 

 

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

June 11, 2015  Leave a comment

Seed

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

The Empire of God
is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground,
and would sleep and rise night and day,
and the seed would sprout and grow,
the sower does not know how.
The earth produces of itself,
first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head.
But when the grain gives it up,
at once the sower disciplines the sickle,
because the harvest has come.

It is like a mustard seed…

             —Mark 4.26-29, 31

God scatters her grace, her beauty her presence in you.
You scatter your tiny life in the world.

In light and darkness, clear times and obscured,
You go on. You die and rise, die and rise.

Divine love in you grows—pure mystery!—
unseen, beyond our mastery, pure gift.

It comes slowly. You see slowly. Small signs.
You wait. You watch. You keep watching.

In time there is fullness.
It is not accomplished. It is given.

You are sent, a disciple,
a sickle of death, a surrender.

What is most precious of you
you cut off and give away. Dying and rising.

In your offering others find shade,
find safety, find nourishment.

You yourself are God’s harvest.
You are an acorn of God.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 10, 2015  Leave a comment

Anointed

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” [He was David, and Samuel anointed him king.]
—1 Samuel 16.10-11

God has chosen something in you,
less recognized, hidden away,
something you have put in a lowly place,
or even denied.

It is a part of you
in which God will do great things.

Bring all of yourself before God.
Allow God to seek it out in you.
Wait for God to see it, to name it. Wait.

Behold God anoint it.

Come into this day knowing
of this royal power within you,
and see to it that it reigns
with humility, wisdom and grace.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 9, 2015  Leave a comment

The chalice

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         
Your prayers are not little,
they are the cries of God.

Your power is not slight,
it is the sun in your heart.

Your path is not through a city of strangers,
but through heaven.

You are walking neither on air nor earth
but the hands of angels.

God is not far off,
but within.

You are not alone,
but surrounded by love.

This world is the bread,
this moment the chalice.

This visible world is a window
into the glorious world within it.

This is not the last chapter.
There is more.

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

June 8, 2015  Leave a comment

Inner nature

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         We do not lose heart.
         Even though our outer nature is wasting away,
         our inner nature is being renewed day by day.

                  —2 Corinthians 4.16

The world sees mostly only your outer nature, your body and your persona, and has a great many expectations of that version of you. (Ask Caitlyn Jenner.) But you are not that. You are an embodied soul. Your inner nature, your true self, is love. There is in you a fire that your outer nature speaks of but can’t contain. You are a flame of God’s love that your body, your circumstances or your reputation can’t explain. You are a part of God, a little Christ, and even your worst sins can’t diminish that. That inner nature is Spirit living in you, life-giving breath from God in which you are born again and again, a spring of living water gushing up to eternal life. Be that true inner self. Let that inner nature be renewed every day, every breath. Never mind who the world thinks you are. You are love. Let love be renewed in you each moment.

Love … renewed.

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

June 5, 2015  Leave a comment

Kin

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

         “Whoever does the will of God
         is my brother and sister and mother.”

                   —Mark 3.35

Forget family, he says, forget
blood and house and inheritance,
identity and loyalty and honor.

It is not blood,
but the desire to do God’s will
that makes us kin,

I and the stranger, the opponent,
the foreigner.

These are my own,
in the streets and marketplaces,
for whom I care as deeply
as my sister, brother or mother,
for whom I would do anything,
share everything?

What accidental betrayal is then at hand,
what unforeseen dishonor?
How many chances
to be unfaithful,
to fail my duty,

to be blessed,
to be known,
to belong after all?

__________________
Weather Report

Kinship,
continuing despite passing conditions,
thick fog obscuring
that all the branches
are of one tree.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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


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write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

June 4, 2015  Leave a comment

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