What carries us over

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

Revelation 21.1

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
— John 13.34


The problem with a new heaven and a new earth is that sometimes it doesn’t feel so good. When old ways pass away and new things come we sometimes feel displaced, disoriented or even threatened by the new ways. We yearn for the way things used to be. When change comes, what can carry us over into the new world? What can help us to adapt to a new reality, to embrace change, to live with and even live for transformation?

Love will carry us over. To live in a new reality, a new haven and earth, Jesus gives us a new commandment: to love others as Christ has loved us. Jesus teaches us to set our hearts on the blessing and well-being of others rather than on our attachment to things being the way we want them. When we commit to such unconditional, self-giving love, “the way it used to be” is no longer our concern. Love sets us free. This new birth is not just an emergency procedure in the case of dramatic change; it happens with every moment. Every breath is an opportunity to let go of the past and enter into the new heaven and new earth of the present moment.

When things change and we feel lost or displaced, Jesus’ call to love can carry us over the abyss of our anxiety and into the new world—the new, living, present, vibrant heaven of this very life.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

It’s just weather

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and peace to you.

A storm blows down on the lake, and critters along the shore take cover.  But the geese keep right on squawking, calmly paddling around, ducking under for food. 

Today a storm will blow into your face: someone will get angry or demanding, a problem will emerge, tension will rise.  It happens. But it doesn’t matter.  It’s what happens next that matters.  You might yell back, or panic at the problem, or join in the rising tension. Or you might not.

Most of the time when we yell or get tense or become demanding we are yelling at a storm: we are displaying our anxiety but fighting something we can’t control. 

When the wind begins to howl, before you lash out, take the time to ask yourself: is this an actual threat that I need to do something about, and something that I can control, or is it just weather? What am I afraid of? Can this storm really hurt me, or will I endure it just fine? Do I need to protect or defend myself?  Whether it’s a deadly blizzard or someone else’s shower, remember that you can’t change it.  The only thing you can control is yourself.   

It is perfectly OK to paddle calmly through someone else’s storm.  You are not responsible for other people’s weather.  It usually won’t hurt you, or them.  It’s just weather.

I’m going to poast this, and then go running in the rain.

______________________ 
Weather Report

Unpleasant at times,
but not deadly.
Dress appropriately,
but don’t panic.
It will pass,
and so will you.

Deep blessings,

Pastor Steve

________________________     
Copyright© Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight@hotmail.com

New

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and pece to you.

          See, I am making all things new.
                  — Revelation 21.

God is not a former Creator.
God is still creating.
God is creating the world, all Creation,
new each moment.

Resurrection happens
when we leave behind the old world, the old reality,
and enter the new reality,
the present moment, created new,
glistening with possibilities, fresh with hope.

In death we allow What Is to breathe out
so that What Is may come in.

Resurrection is the eternal opening of the rose,
unfolding light of the flame,
the burning sun
of the first dawn.

Rise, Beloved,
and be made new.

 ___________________________ 
Copyright  c  Steve Garnaas-Holmes
www.unfoldinglight.net

The risen body of Christ

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

“We believe in the resurrection of the body,”
says our creed. What, exactly, does that mean?
How, exactly, did Jesus rise from the grave?

We don’t know, and we should never pretend to.
It doesn’t matter. It is not for us to know,
any more than we shall know how God created light.

It doesn’t matter in what form or manner:
got up, maybe, breathed a deep one,
stretched and walked out of the tomb,
careful not to bump his head…
Or maybe rose from his old body,
(moldering unused now)
like mist from a lake, or light from a fire,
or laughter from a child,
and took on a new one.

Don’t bother trying to cram something
so mystifying, so incomprehensible
into a few molecules or metaphors.
It shall remain stunning.

After all, even the eyewitnesses missed it at first—
Mary in the Garden, Cleopas on the road to Emmaus,
the fishermen in the boat:
unrecognizable in any one form or flesh, yet flesh:
real, changed and undying.

Know this: that the Beloved will come, always
costumed, oblique,
athwart our expectations and belief,
yet still, undeniably, flesh,
changing before our eyes from life
into life;
until we are convinced that nothing less
than all of us, and all Creation—and even you—
constitute his real, risen, loving, breathing body.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Godling

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

As surely as you come from earth,
are made of earth,
and part of earth,
and will return to earth,
so surely you come from God,
are made of God,
and part of God,
and are returning, every breath,
to God.

God is your substance and your life,
the spark of your being,
your body and its dance.

God is your breath and your flesh,
your muscle and mind.
God is the miracle by which
you are brought out of not being,
the grace by which You Are.

You are one with The Holy Oneness.
You are a blossom of this beauty.

Let God, this day,
be your work and your wakefulness.
Let God be the source of your mindfulness,
the substance of your thoughts and deeds.

As surely as you are an earthling,
you are a Godling,
God’s, and of God,
the Holy One,
Loving One,
Indwelling One, the
One.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Earthling

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Go out upon the earth.
Walk among trees.
Lay your hand on their bark,
notice the kinship of skin, of bone
of wrinkle, spot and bug.

Ignore your clothing, let it fall
away from your mind,

rubbish blowing in the woods.
Really, you’re a critter,
one of those with whom this world teems,
a muscle of this flesh,
an organ of this creature,
with whom you share the long knowing
of gravity, the flow of blood
from mountain springs
through your clay channels to the sea,
the sun’s alchemy of heat to light,
and leaves’ of light to food,
and yours of food to heat.
The priest of your body’s weight,
the trembling of your hands,
your faithful beating heart and breath,
pronounces your belonging,
and blesses all root and leaf and flesh

that is your life,
the wind and lung’s dark sex,
the unknown wisdom hid behind
the closed eye of your body,
your cell’s unceasing praise.
All garments, buildings,
pavements and devices are a ruse
to separate your flesh from flesh.

We humans are of humus, raised;
your atoms, all, are of this dirt,
once spirit-blown and then
a thousand times,
and will return and rot and boil and bloom
a thousand more.
Oh, fragile, living tissue, sing with joy!—
for you are of this heaven,
sacred soil ensouled,
no passing thought, but flesh,
created flesh, and blessed to be
an earthling.

Happy Earth Day.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

My sheep hear my voice

Dearly Beloved,Grace and Peace to you.

My sheep hear my voice.
I know them,
and they follow me.
I give them eternal life.

— John 10.27-28

The Living Word within
speaks you into being.
It is most holy, then,
to listen.

Live this day
at a listening pace,
in listening poise,
each step a following,

each moment a waiting
for the voice
that knows you,
that your heart already follows.

You don’t need right answers
or good ideas,
but only stillness
in which to hear.

Let your heart,
serene and open,
hear the voice
that gives you life.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight@hotmail.com

Go fish

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, “Children, you have no fish, have you?” They answered him, “No.” He said to them, “Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish.
John 21.3-6


Peter drifts among his losses and failures,
his disappointment, his guilt.
Elbows on knees, he sits, staring
at the empty bottom of his boat.

Sometimes we catch nothing.
Sometimes our nets come up empty,
our boat is empty,
our lives drift over an empty sea.
We have nothing to offer.

The risen Christ is here, I promise.
And I promise you will not recognize him.
A miraculous shoal of fish
hovers beneath your boat.
But you can’t see them. Guaranteed.

Just sit and wait
and listen
for the voice.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

I return

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Holy One,
Unsayable Love,
you have chosen this morning
to rise in this sun,
to breathe in this body,
to blossom in me.

I am in awe.
I am in you.
I am at peace.

I sit in your light.
I live in your heartbeat.
I rest in your love.

Though I go onto my work this day
may I remain here always
in your peace.

I thank you.
I bless you.
I return to you.
Always, I return to you.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight@hotmail.com

No ears

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

The cello has no ears
with which to hear the soaring music
played upon it, or to comprehend
the symphony to which it adds
its single voice.

Why bother doubting
the beauty of your life to God,
when you know we are not given
ears to hear such things?

____________________

Weather Report

Hidden,
with increasing mystery throughout the day,
as all things must be fully illuminated
and partially obscured.
However, as the warm air of heaven
permeates the continent of this life,
grace will prevail
and all things will rise.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight@hotmail.com