Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child who has been born king of the Judeans? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
         —Matthew 2.1-3

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming … “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
         —Mark 1. 1, 7-8

Because Christmas fell on a Sunday this year, Epiphany—the visit of the magi— is this Friday, and Sunday is already the Baptism of Jesus. So this week I’m thinking of them both at the same time. In both stories, people show reverence and God is revealed. John honors Jesus as “more powerful” than he. The magi seek the one who is born king. Mary has come to believe according to the words of an angel that her son will be great. And when Jesus grows up, he’ll exhibit this same sense of reverence and honor toward people. It’s as if all these stories are inviting us into the same way of living: to show reverence toward others, and so to see God.

Imagine treating everyone with tender reverence, the way Gabriel treated Mary, the way John and the Magi treated Jesus, the way Jesus treated everyone. Imagine treating everyone as if God has chosen them, filled them with grace, given them good gifts and empowered them to bring forth love into the world. Imagine treating everyone as if they are a special part of God’s intent to save the world.

I believe if we do, God will be revealed. We may not hear heavenly voices, or see auspicious signs in the stars, or be visited by angels, but we will see God.

Show reverence, and you will find yourself in the presence of the Holy One. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

New year blessing

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
In the new year I do not wish for you
that God will bless you,
since God already intends
only the deepest blessings for you.
I don’t wish that good things will happen to you,
since I don’t know
what will most beautifully shape your soul—
in what losses you will receive grace,
in what challenges you will gain wisdom,
in what struggles you will become more truly yourself.

Instead I hope for you this blessing:
that your heart be at peace,
that your mind be open
and your will be lovingly present;
that you live each day this year with love, courage and beauty,
with gentleness, trust and gratitude.
that you speak and be the truth,
that you find joy and wonder in your life,
that you be deeply mindful
of God’s indwelling presence,
God’s deep delight in accompanying you
in every breath.

May your work be fruitful,
your hope vibrant,
your voice clear,
and your friends faithful.

Whether you feel it or not,
deep blessing will be yours this year.
May you know it, and rejoice,
and live n harmony with God’s grace.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light