Rescue

Dearly Beloved, 
Grace and Peace to you.

 

I was in danger, best by a man in armor and a helmet on a strong horse. He pinned me to the ground with a thorny spear and made impossible demands of me. I was helpless and ashamed. I cried out for help.
 
He laughed at my feeble cry. But then he stopped and raised his head, sensing something. Over the hilltop came a small child, a toddler. The man on the horse froze. Through his mask I could see hie eyes change. Another infant joined the little child, and then a third. They surrounded his horse. They looked up at him solemnly as if they wanted him, as if they needed him.
 
He fled in terror.
 

 

___________________
 
Weather Report
 

A day of infancy,
with periods of disorienting clarity
as warm moist layers
of your psyche mingle with
what you think you’re supposed to be doing.
 

 

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

 

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com

 

 

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Open me

Dearly Beloved,Grace and Peace to you.

 

A woman, a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin, begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” … They brought to him a deaf man who had an impediment in his speech; and they begged him to lay his hand on him. He put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue. Then looking up to heaven, he sighed and said to him, “Ephphatha,” that is, “Be opened.”
Mark 7. 26-34

 

Perhaps Jesus knew all along where he was going with the woman. But maybe when the Galilean rabbi met the foreign woman, and his enculturated bias that Gentiles were inferior to Jews was met by her feisty insistence that she and her daughter were worthy of God’s grace—maybe she opened his eyes.

Later Jesus healed a deaf man, touching his ears and crying out, “Be opened!”

Maybe wisdom is not having it all figured out, but being open to God. In wisdom we never finish paying attention, never close our minds. We continually become more open to new awareness and perspectives, by what Paul calls “the transformation of our minds.” In wisdom we become more open to wonder, attentive to the Spirit, and receptive to God. We become more sensitive, enlarging the territory of our care, and welcoming others into our compassion with open arms. We become more transparent to God’s grace. Wisdom is allowing ourselves to be changed.

Jesus continually opened himself and expanded his compassion, until there was room in his heart for everybody. He opened up all his treasures and poured himself out. He was open even to all of our suffering and sin, opening all the way into the great emptiness of death itself. And even in the leaden closure of death, shut in by the tomb, God touched his grave and sighed and said, “Be opened!”

God touches you, and says, “Be opened!” The Spirit unfolds within you. Let her open up your life. Let God heal the ways in which you are closed off to the world, closed off from God. Let God enlarge your heart, opening to God, opening to the world, opening to heaven. Surrender to God’s great opening in you. Let your prayer be continually, “Open me. Open me. Open me.”

 

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve
__________________

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net

 

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com

 

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“Be opened!”

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Jesus touched the deaf man’s ears,
and so that they would be healed
and hear again, he said, “Ephphatha,”
which means, “Be opened!”

Jesus touched the poor man’s heart,
so that it would be healed
and accept God’s grace,
and said, “Be opened!”

Jesus looked to heaven,
so that there would be no barrier
between God and us,
the doors spread wide,
and said, “Be opened!”

Jesus, knowing God within,
wanting to be an open vessel
flowing with love, beheld his own soul,
and said, “Be opened!”

Jesus thought of the crowd,
their pinched faith,
and so that they might have hope,
trusting the miracles of God,
he said, “Be opened!”

Jesus puts his hand on your heart
and closes his eyes
and says, “Be opened!”

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com

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Put down

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.
 

A woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately heard about him, and she came and bowed down at his feet. Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go—the demon has left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child lying on the bed, and the demon gone.
Mark 7.25-30

 

She’d been called worse.
Dog, nigger, whore, welfare queen,
she’d heard it. People say stuff. So?
Doesn’t God love her daughter?
It’s not what you get called,
but what you say that makes you.
What she got called didn’t move her,
like the weather on the way to the well:
raining or hot, you just go through it,
you get the water.
So people call her things. Still,
didn’t God want her daughter well?
And now people will say things again,
call her a bitch, think of something mean.
Fine, say things.
Doesn’t God still love her daughter?
 

Jesus knows the inside of those names.
Got the scars from those stones.
Knows it won’t be long
till they think of some bad ones for him,
traitor, crazy, demon, trash.
And doesn’t God still love him?
 

Doesn’t God keep saying,
I don’t care what crap you throw,
I give life and tenderness and guts?
Doesn’t every Easter, every miracle say,
All those people you condemn,
I love and I will raise them up?
Doesn’t God say, You put them down,
put them away, put them out of mind,
call them queers, illegals, retards,
demean them, deport them,
imprison them, dehumanize them,
and don’t I love them?
Does God call them names,
or is the name God calls them Beloved?
Does God want to put that girl down,
or raise her up?
Isn’t that what the heck God does?

 

Yes, sister. It is.
You got it.
Even the dogs get the master’s crumbs.
The put-down, the shut-out, the dispensable,
the ones nobody cares about, nobody sees,
everybody uses, everybody shrugs,
they are God’s precious, God’s little sweeties,
and God will fight for them
like a mother for her baby girl.
 

Sister, you get it.
You know God cuts through all our meanness,
raises up who we put down.
You count on God to love against the flow.
No faith is worth having
that isn’t that.
Your daughter will be fine, Sister,
real fine.

         

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve
 

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

 

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com

 

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Prayer for a busy time

 
 

Holy One, Steadfast Love,
in this busy season,
help me stay rooted in your peace
and at rest in your presence.
As activities swirl about me
and demands pour over me
like a raging river,
may I be steady as a stone,
washed in your grace.

Even in the roaring torrent
you are my earth, my gravity;
you are the darkness within the stone,
and all about me the water rushes,
singing your praise.

 

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

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com.

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A prayer for Labor Day

God, maker of the universe,
who work moment by moment
to sustain Creation,
bless those who labor,
who work for the weal of the world.
For those whose unseen labor eases our lives
may we always be mindful and grateful.
For their diligence and pride in craft
and faithful service we render thanks.
For those who work for the sake
of people they will never see,
we ask your blessing.
For those who risk and suffer,
we ask your protection.
For those whose work is demeaning,
whose conditions are poor,
whose pay is unfair,
we pray for justice.
We give honor to those whose labor
is unseen and unrewarded.
We pray for those whose labor is forced,
without rest, or freedom or dignity;
for all who are coerced, endangered, enslaved,
exploited or abused: we cry for justice.

We pray for those who seek labor
and who find none,
who are prevented by their bodies
or their society from meaningful work.

We give thanks for all who labor,
and pray that all may know the blessing
of your Sabbath gift of rest.

Holy One, you who labor for our life,
bless our work, that it may serve you
and the mending of the world.
Amen.

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

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail write to unfoldinglight5(at)hotmail.com

Published
Categorized as Reflections