The wicked tenants

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

In Matthew 21.33-43 Jesus tells a parable about tenants who withhold the vineyard’s harvest from the landowner. He asks religious leaders what the owner would do and they say, “Kill them and lease the vineyard to people who will hand over a harvest.” Jesus doesn’t agree with them but simply says, “The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”

Maybe: If you are not faithful God will punish you and throw you out. That seems to be what some people believe.

Maybe: The Jews botched real religion, so God gave it to the Christians, even though the Jews rejected them. That seems to be what some early believers thought.

Maybe: Institutional leaders—people with power and privilege responsible for the “vine” of God’s people— have botched it, and their response to the story reveals how judgmental like them they think God is, without grasping that their judgment is on themselves . That seems to be what Jesus’ hearers would have noticed.

Maybe: The forces of commerce and empire always lead to violence. God invites us to choose another way, a way rejected by others. That seems to be borne out in the news.

Maybe: The Church has done a lousy job of bearing God’s love into the world, and we are experiencing the consequences of our failure, while other people outside the church are picking up the slack. That seems to be what’s happening in many churches.

Maybe: I am an unfaithful steward of my own life, keeping my divine gifts to myself instead of sharing them. When I consider this, I expect God to be angry with me—a fear the religious leaders voice, though Jesus does not agree. Instead, though I judge and “reject” myself, God makes me the cornerstone of my life, and entrusts me with my life and its gifts anyway. Maybe God asks for fruitfulness and offers mercy. That seems to be what God is inviting me with.

What is God saying to you?

Deep Blessings
Pastor Steve
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)

The Ten Truths of Moses

I All is One. (There is only one thing, One Being. Don’t settle for anything less than The One. “Have no other gods.”)

II The Beloved is greater than your knowing. (Let go of your understanding of reality and simply behold it. Let go of your image of the Beloved and just love. “Have no graven image.”)

III You can love God, but not use God. (God is beyond your controlling or defining. “Don’t use God’s name.”)

IV Life is a gift. (Let go. Stop playing God. Even God does not play God. Be nothing, powerless and empty-handed. Let God be God. Take time to stop doing and be. “Honor the Sabbath.”)

V You belong. (You receive great gifts from those who have come before you, and who surround you, and all the living beings who provide for you, simply because you are here. Show gratitude. “Honor your elders.”)

VI Life is sacred. (Life itself is the presence of the Holy One. Do what gives life. Refrain from all that diminishes life. “Do not kill.”)

VII The heart of life is faithful love. (God is faithful. All of life is a Covenant. Be faithful. “Don’t commit adultery.”)

VIII We are all in this together. (Possession is an illusion. Resist the temptation to think of yourself as separate from others, or of others as a resource, or yourself as more deserving than they. Seek to bless others rather than to take anything from them. See to it that all have what they need. “Don’t steal.”)

IX Illusion is powerful, but truthfulness is more so. (To free yourself from the power of illusion, be truthful in all things. “Don’t bear false witness.”)

X You are a source, not an end point. (Relinquish possessiveness. Let go of things. Be giving instead of grasping. Share. “Don’t covet.”)

Deep Blessings
Pastor Steve
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

To subscribe to Unfolding Light by daily e-mail
write to me at unfoldinglight8(at)


Geese are flowing south.

My eyes are hungry for these fall colors,
not satisfied, grazing, feeding.
A hunger, an appetite leans, reaches.

The love you crave,
the presence you long for,
the voice of the One
is right there. Reach out for it.

Not a possessing, but a lending forth,
a receiving, a giving, an embrace.

The trees will pay all their leaves for it,
the river spends itself to come closer.

The hawk lays all of its weight on the air
circling for it.

The vines with their ripened berries
take on their dying colors
to become something new.

Don’t starve yourself.
Stop thinking it silly
to yearn for what you yearn for.

Why trudge from town to town,
slouch from bar to bar,
with a newspaper clipping
searching for your lost lover?
(When we don’t know we’re drunk
we do stupid things.)

The Beloved is here in this room,
closer than your thoughts.

Undress from your mastery.
Take off the uniform of understanding.

Breathe in, breathe out.
That longing, that seeking,
even the sadness
is the Holy One
reaching for you.


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