Labor and delivery

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

         We know that the whole creation
         has been groaning in labor pains;
         and not only the creation, but we ourselves.

                 —Romans 8.22-23

        You must be born from above.
                  —John 3.7

God is creating more of you than you have yet brought forth. Each of us often feels a yearning, a swelling of our souls, a discomfort that may feel unwelcome but is something new and holy waiting to be born from within. This new birth will require pain and struggle, but will come by the will and the help of God.

Sometimes it is we ourselves who are being born, brought through a narrow passage, a dark valley that seems to be the valley of death but is actually a birth canal. We are pushed by a force of life greater than our own will, drawn by a love beyond our capacity to know. Even difficulty imposed on us from outside us can be a means of new birth.

Sometimes we have come through such labor pains and have been brought out into a new world, in new light, held in our Mother’s arms even more intimately than we were in her womb, gazing into each other’s eyes. There are no expectations other than to be together in this moment; we don’t yet even have a name. We simply rest with God. We have been delivered.

You can’t choose which place to be; you can’t decide. As with childbirth, you can only wait and see, and work with what is. Pay attention: is there some new life stirring in you? Are your difficulties the labor pains of something sacred? Or is this not a time for pain and struggle, but a time to rest in delight with this new life God has brought forth from you? Is this a time to push, or a time to rest in your Mother’s arms, made new?

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 unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

A meditation on Rublev’s Holy Trinity


Mother, Son and Holy Spirit
you gaze at each other
with such tender love

Feminine grace
strength of resolve
gentle welcome

Not creating right now nor saving
being here together
a sabbath moment of rest in the day

The chalice of your laps
the oneness of your three
you are all there is

The space emwombs you
the empty place among you
opens to me

This love
this beauty
this being here

I am the fourth
I enter
I become one of you

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

Born again

      
         You must be born from above.
                  —John 3.7

Holy One
I am born from you
each moment.

You labor to give me life,
with life-giving pain and travail
in love.

My life emerges from you,
continues you,
delights you.

With each breath I receive life,
entering the new world,
made alive again.

Even amidst harshness or loneliness
you are birthing me in love,
always giving new life.

There is no shame, no destiny,
only this moment,
only your delight.

You hold me to your breast.
I do not live without you.
I am always coming into your arms.

I am yours.
I am free.
I am beginning.

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

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

God’s prayers

      
         
Oh, my people,
the confetti of stars,
the birds calling “Surprise!” from every tree,
Spring standing again on your front porch
in her flowery dress with an armful of blossoms
if only you would open the door,
the little rise in you when you see one glorious thing,
these are my prayers to you.
The ache for me in your meditations,
the questions your heart asks without you,
the invisible possibility that this enemy
could become a friend,
these are my prayers to you.
Those words in the closed book, the unopened letter
about forgiveness and release,
these are my prayers to you.
Your sorrow over the world and its woes,
your hesitation at the news,
your deep weary sigh,
these are my prayers to you.
The mystery of the light
folded into what is,
what I am about to do,
these are my prayers to you.
Oh my people, in your mercy,
hear my prayer.

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

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

Memorial Day prayer

         
For all whose lives have been taken by war,
grant your mercy O God.
For soldiers, civilians, those wounded and neglected,
grant your mercy, O God.
For earth despoiled and living beings sacrificed,
grant your mercy, O God.
For our glorification of war and violence
and our willingness to hurt others
to defend ourselves,
grant your mercy, O God.
We give thanks for your beloved
whom we have sacrificed;
we ask blessing for their loved ones,
confess our need for your grace,
and pray for the redemption of society.
Spirit of compassion and gentleness,
in the name of the One who was sacrificed,
save us by your grace,
and grant us your mercy.
Amen.

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

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

God prays in you

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
      

         We do not know how to pray as we ought,
         but the Spirit intercedes
         with sighs too deep for words.

                  —Romans 8.26

Without your knowing
your lungs breathe, your heart beats,
nerves fire, even while you are asleep.

Deep within you, beneath your knowing,
the Spirit prays.

You are the vessel.
Prayer is simply mindfulness
that God is praying in you.
Your deepest prayers
God is silently uttering for you,
forgiving what is past,
blessing what is,
moving toward what may be.

Be still.
It doesn’t matter what you pray,
what you think, how you feel.
God is praying in you.
You are simply here,
the rose unfolding from the bud.

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 unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

Fire

          Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them,
         and a tongue rested on each of them.
         All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.

                  —Acts 2. 3-4

One fire,
a million sparks
from the first “Let there be light”
still shining in the one darkness

one sun’s light radiating
in a billion directions

light always shining, only radiating,
never stopping, never dying
in us

consuming fire
burning off all but the precious,
all but the true,
transforming us into light

flame of pure love
creating us
becomes us

How vainly we try
without knowing
to put it out

when it will carry us
through all this
into the next joyful world.

Pentecost, 2015

Good news

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
      

         “In our own languages we hear them speaking
         about God’s deeds of power.”

                  —Acts 2.11

Take a moment to reflect:
What are “God’s deeds of power” in your life?
If you were to tell someone the “good news of God,”
what would you say? What’s the good news?

How will you live today
in a way that conveys that good news?
What acts or attitudes will give language to that good news?

The Spirit is at work in you
to shine with grace,
to change this world with love.
Trust that, open yourself,
and let the Spirit work through you.

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 unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com

Spirit

           When you send forth your spirit, we are created
                  —Psalm 104.30

Holy One,
         breath of the big bang,
         idea of creation,
you who make spring come forth,
         who make life out of nothing,
breathe yourself into me.
         Create me.

you are the flame,
         I am your light.
You are the nerve,
         I am your muscle.
You are the Word,
         I am the story.
You are the song,
         I am the singing.

I am one with you
         and one with all Creation.
One Spirit,
         one flesh, many forms.
In your Spirit
         I am we.

Pentecost, May 19, 2015

Student of love

      
         
God,
I so often focus on what I want to accomplish, acquire or experience. Help me today to focus on love, to let you perfect your love in me. Not to be an expert, but to be a student of love. Help me be mindful and grateful for how your love works in the world and holds it all together. To watch and learn from Christ, and from those around me who love. To enter every experience as an opportunity to wonder at love, to learn it and practice it. Keep me mindful that it is not my love, generated by my effort in some secret dynamo within, but your love flowing through me. Grant me the grace of a beginner’s mind, beginning anew each moment. By your love in me, always unfolding, make me today an attentive student of love. In your grace, perfect your love in me. Amen.

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

To receive Unfolding Light as a daily e-mail,
write to me at unfoldinglight (at) gmail.com