With all your mind

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
         and with all your soul, and with all your might.

                  —Deuteronomy 6.5

         You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
         and with all your soul, and with all your mind,
         and with all your strength.

                  —Mark 12.30

Jesus added your mind.

         •

God, help me love you today with my mindfulness:
let my consciousness, what I am aware of, and how,
be loving toward you.

Help me love you with my thoughts,
to use my mind to love you,
to think lovingly of all people.

Help me love you with my attitude
toward others and myself and my circumstances.

Help me lovingly search all my thoughts,
including the ones I repress,
and bear all my moods and emotions
as offerings to you,
placing them in your loving hands.

Help me this day be mindful of what is,
mindful of your love,
mindful of my love for you.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

Love your neighbor

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         The first commandment is,
                  “You shall love the Lord your God…”
         The second is this,
                  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

                  —Mark 12.29-31

Jesus joins Deuteronomy 6.5 with Leviticus 19.18:
love of God and love of neighbor
and love of self are one.
God is One. There is only one love.
It flows among the Trinity
of God, self and others.

I love my neighbor
as deeply as I love myself.

I love my neighbor
as I wish God to love me.

I love my neighbor
in the same manner as I love myself.

I love my neighbor
as a way of loving myself.

I love my neighbor,
who is myself.

Loving my neighbor
is God loving me.

.
.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

First commandment

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         “Which commandment is the first of all?”
         Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel:
         the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
         you shall love the Lord your God
         with all your heart, and with all your soul,
         and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’”

                  —Mark 12.29-30

The command to love God is first
not simply because it’s most important
but because it’s the only commandment.
God is One; God is the only one; God is all.
How we do anything is how we love God.
How we love a neighbor, love a stranger,
love an enemy, this is our love of God.
How we eat our food or notice beauty,
how we express gratitude, treat mistakes,
trust grace, offer gifts, be patient or forgive
is how we love God.
Our tenderness or harshness
toward the ugly and the disturbing,
our acceptance of pleasure and torment,
our longing for wholeness,
our hunger for love,
our longing for God,
is how we love God.
Our sitting and listening,
our growing and being,
our breathing,
is how we love God.

         •

O Love,
perfect your love in us.

.
.
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

Love God

         
         “Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
         you shall love the Lord your God
         with all your heart, and with all your soul,
         and with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

                  —Mark 12.29-30

Beloved,
I give you my heart:
my willingness, my passions, my desires.
Make them into love for you.

I give you my soul:
my mystery, my self, my divine presence.
Make them into love for you.

I give you my mind:
my thoughts, my wisdom, my beliefs.
Make them into love for you.

I give you my strength:
my gifts, my ability, my being.
Make them into love for you.

Beloved,
may all that I do,
all that I care or think about,
all that I am,
be love for you.
Amen.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

Autumn blessing

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

As the trees bear fruit and the harvest is bought in,
blessings ripen in you.

As the earth holds dear the roots of trees,
God’s love for you holds you fast, and gives you life.

As the trees shed their leaves in beauty
and the garden gives up its riches in abundance,
you learn to surrender gracefully,
forgive deeply, offer gifts generously,
and in all your losses trust that deeper blessings
are given you.

As the earth turns toward winters’ darkness
in its gentle dance of seasons,
you walk through life’s challenges without fear,
trusting the unseen spring yet to come.

As autumn’s colors pour into the world,
blessing unfolds in you;
as autumn puts its gold in your hands,
you grow in love and become more beautiful,
and make the world more beautiful.

And even the trees, amazed, thank you.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

Go

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         

         Bartimaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the edge of the way.
         …. The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.”
         Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.”
         Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.

                  —Mark 10.46, 51-52

When Mark wrote his gospel Jesus’ followers were known as Followers of the Way.

Bartimeaus sat at the edge of the Way.

When Jesus healed him Jesus said, “Go,” presumably meaning “go your way.” But Bartimaeus did not go his way. He followed Jesus on the Way.

Is there some grace in your life that might give you new sight,
         help you see in a new way?
What Way are you on the edge of?
What might it be to choose not to go “your” way,
         but to follow Jesus on his Way?
What step might you take today to follow him on the way?

Go.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

Ask

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         

         Bartimaeus cried out,
                  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
         Then Jesus said to him,
                  “What do you want me to do for you?”

                           —Mark 10.47, 51

The Beloved stands before you
with a calm, deep smile,
holding in steady hands
the powers of heaven,
looks deep into the pools of your eyes
and, not presuming to know your mind,
giving you the power to ask, waiting,
inquires:
“What do you want me to do for you?”

Wait, as the Divine One does, for the truth.
Stand still. Listen.
What, deepest, do you want the Loving One
to do for you?

The Gracious One is always there.

Ask.

.
.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

Take heart

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         

         Bartimaeus cried out,
                  “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
         Many sternly ordered him to be quiet…
         Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.”
         And they called the blind man, saying to him,
                  “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.”

                           —Mark 10.47-49

They have told you to be quiet
since your crib,
when your needs, your cry for the divine
disturbed them.
You too have learned the command,
to silence your soul, to silence others.
Stand still and listen:
what is the voice within, crying out, silenced?

Rise; take heart.
The Beloved is calling you,
wants to hear your plea,
to honor your word,
to hear what has not been spoken,
wants you to come,
to ask for what must be asked for
and must be given.

Now, you have been called
and you have been heard.
Whom have we silenced?
Whom are you called to call
to reveal
the miracle of God?
Rise, take heart.
The Beloved is calling 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

Stood still

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         

         Bartimaeus cried out,
         “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
         Jesus stood still.

                  —Mark 10.47, 49

How often he stops.
Stands still.
Waits. Listens. Does nothing.

Gives time
in the tumult of our thought and fear,
the racket of our obligations’ traffic,
to let a small, clear space expand,
a depth open like a well in the noise,
a listening reach like roots through earth,
a stillness rise and stand against our haste.

He lets them pass,
the anxious wind and waves,
until the rock appears,
the voice drowned out
yet never drowned.

Among beggars’ voices
beneath the roar of trains,
only still, only stopped,
can you hear,
and only slowly,
the cry, the word
that even words obscure,
the still, small silence
of God,
vast as the air.

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

Have mercy

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

          Bartimaeus cried out,
“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

—Mark 10.47

We do not know how to pray as we ought.
Some things I want may not be best for me.
Some things good for me may not be what I need next.
Some things I need may not be best for God’s Realm.
So it’s better not to tell God what to do,
but simply utter this perfect prayer, to ask, even to beg,
for surely it will be given:
“Have mercy on me!”

Oh Love,
for all my wounds and needs:
have mercy on me.
For all my sins:
have mercy on me.
For all my hopes and fears, dreams and memories:
have mercy on me.

For my part in discerning your delight for me:
have mercy on me.
For my longing for the healing of the world:
have mercy on me.
That my prayer itself may speak to my heart:
have mercy on me.

God of love, I need you; I long for you.
In your grace use me according to your delight.
Have mercy on me.

For all your children,
for all living things,
for all Creation, Love,
have mercy on us.
Amen.

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