Veterans Day

      
         
                  
Today I pray for veterans,
for those whose lives we’ve used
to fight our wars,
whose blood we’ve spent
to have our way.
They bear our wounds
and the weight of our fear.
They are the lambs we sacrifice
to the gods of our Empire.
Lord have mercy.

For those who have been in hell
I pray that their bodies be mended,
their memories healed,
their souls restored.

I pray for veterans of all nations
who served their country,
risked their lives
and did their best.

I pray for mothers of soldiers,
for children of war,
for all who suffer from the violence of nations.

I pray for those who work for peace,
who risk and suffer in the work of justice,
for reconciliation and life.

I pray for the veterans of all my little wars,
those I have used or wounded
or fought in the name of my little gods.

In the name of the Prince of Peace
I pray for peace,
for Armistice
among all.
Amen.

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

November 11, 2014  Leave a comment

Overflowing

      
         
                  
Beloved,
no matter the business of the day
         today I wish more than all
to receive your blessings,
         to accept the unceasing love
         you pour out to me
like sun in the desert,
         rivers flowing into the sea,
like light entering my eyes,
         breath filling my body,
filling me with your blessing,
         filling my body and my awareness,
my hopes and desires,
         my sins and my wounds,
my work and my resting,
         my knowing and my not knowing,
filling me to overflowing,
         with your grace filling me
         to overflowing.

         
         

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)hotmail.com

November 10, 2014  Leave a comment

Neither foolish nor wise

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      

         The bridesmaids got up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the wise, “Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.” But the wise replied, “No! there will not be enough for you and for us; you had better go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.”
                  —Matthew 25. 7-9

The wise maidens went in,
and reveled in the party, the noise,
the light and warmth, the joy
of the bride and groom…

                                    and then

looked around, and half of their friends
were missing,
                      half the party gone,
the feast of faithful love undone,
the marriage gutted—

and only then they knew:

they could have shared their light
and then had more.

In times of darkness
         neither folly nor wisdom
                  is worth light, worth mercy,
                        worth joy.

         
         
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

November 7, 2014  Leave a comment

Our path

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
Times may turn dark;
they always have.
Our calling remains unchanged.
The voice of hope is undiminished.

The world may turn
toward ravage and greed;
the acid of fear stain our faces,
the voracious appetite of power
consume the earth and its silent ones,
but the Holy One’s tender mercy
does not waver or abate.
The voice of calm still whispers.

Your path may take you
through ulcered valleys of shadow.
The Gentle One is still with you.

Our path is not to save the world;
only One may do that.
Our path is to learn to love
even in the darkness.

Our calling is still to be woven in,
to cry out for the hurting,
to take mercy to the streets,
to be gentle among the violent
and strong amidst the fearful,
to mend the fabric even as it is torn,
to heal and bless even in our defeat.

Life may turn dark; it often does.
Crucifixion reoccurs.
But the world in its suffering
will be made pure light.
Even in the evening of our power,
even in the dusk of the world,
the light of the Merciful One shines on,
and we are given this: to share the light,
to share the light
until we ourselves are pure light.

         
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

November 6, 2014  Leave a comment

At the polls

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
Farmers and bankers,
welfare queens and executives,
gun toters and tree huggers
all showed up, lined up, spoke up.
Some won the day, some lost.
But everybody spoke.

Yeah, votes are bought,
and the poor systematically silenced,
and the lazy stay home to conserve
energy for whining. But.

A woman came in
with her two little girls
to be heard.
It was this that set a song in my throat,
this that everyone longs for.
Now her two little girls have tasted this,
my greatest hope for them,
a power that, win or lose
will change the world,
a power you have every day,
the one thing that makes us great:
that we listen to each other.

         
         
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

November 5, 2014  Leave a comment

Election Day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
It is Election Day today in the US, where folks are divided between those who think voting is your sacred duty, those who think it’s useless, and those who want to vote but are prevented by voter suppression laws.

The world is divided between those who think prayer is your sacred duty, those who think it’s useless, and those who want to pray but are prevented by the fear that they aren’t good enough or they don’t know how to do it right.

The world is divided between those who think living a loving life is your sacred duty, those who think it’s useless, and those who want to but are prevented by other desires, deep brokenness, or fear.

Voting is in fact your sacred duty. So is praying, and living a loving life. They are all equally useless. Your vote is not likely to turn an election. Your prayer is not likely to save the world, or even yourself. A loving life may be swallowed up in the greed and wrath of a violent, commercial world.

But: a vote for a losing cause just disappears, while “unanswered” prayer, even weak and flawed prayer, still becomes part of the fabric of the universe. A loving life flows out of the Love that creates and sustains all things, and beautifies and strengthens that love. It matters. And in that spirit even a vote can be a prayer, an act of love. Even a losing vote matters. It gives voice to the truth, it seeks justice, it embodies compassion and our interwoven-ness with all people.

Maybe we ought to get little stickers that say “I prayed.”

If you are in the US, vote today. And no matter where you are, pray. Live a loving life. Your life does change the world. It adds to the energy of life. It delights God. It matters.

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

November 4, 2014  Leave a comment

This scattering

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
Autumn colors have settled
from Kandinsky to Rembrandt.
Trees cast down their crowns,
the ponds release their birds
bound southward, the sky
leaves its scarf in brown branches,
the round sun begins rolling up its things.

This scattering is also a drawing in.
Beds of leaves, mounds of leaves
the color of old books gather and rest.
The ground receives it all
and begins its dark, profound work
beyond my seeing, beneath my bones.
Even the leaves of childhood
and the sky’s drama of my long youth,
the naked, willing wood of trees,
and all the things piled around on my desk
like leaves when I return to the house,
are gathered in someone else’s hands,
bedded down, held close
for the long, bright winter.

         
         
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

November 3, 2014  Leave a comment

Halloween

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
I am dying.
I come to your door almost dead.
You are dying, too.
I come disguised as one living,
or nearly so;
you answer the bell as if alive.

And, for an evening sanctified,
you greet me, movie star or monster,
with delight,
and give me, princess or pirate,
good things.
So it should be.

We are dying, so soon, so sure.
Ourselves and not ourselves,
we come soon enough
to that little circle of light on the great porch
and are greeted with grace and feast.

Why not be alive while we may?
Why not meet each other now,
gruesome or glittering,
with good things—
before the day passes,
the candy is stale,
and our costumes are of no use?

         
         
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

October 31, 2014  Leave a comment

All Saints Day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
      
         
                  
Red hawk cries once
offering himself from the top branch,
hands spread in blessing

over the clearing
among turning trees,
flame and ash of leaves,
breath of wind.

One cry and my heart is pierced
by many colors,
the day is changed.

The sanctified don’t specialize in piety,
they live as they are made to be,
let the calm fire burn in them
and trust the rest.

         
         
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

October 30, 2014  Leave a comment

Eight blessings

      
         
                  
Blessed are you who don’t have it:
        I give you my whole world.

Blessed are you who are broken:
        I hold you close.

Blessed you who are gentle:
        my love in you will conquer the world.

Blessed are you who yearn deeply for more:
        here it is.

Blessed are you who practice mercy:
        my mercy flows through you.

Blessed are you who love no matter what:
        you will always know my presence.

Blessed are you who do not pass hurt on to others:
        beloved child, that’s when you are most like me.

Blessed are you whom the world scorns:
        I am right there with you.

(see Matthew 5.3-10)

         
         

__________________
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

October 29, 2014  Leave a comment

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