Another New Year’s Eve

         

         
                  
I am ready
when a voice has spoken,
a path opened its arms,
ready to resolve and to follow.

And if not I am ready to be still,
and more still yet,
to wait,
to shed my wants and fears,
my wishes and words, and even
the words I have for the silence
and for you,
until not I but you speak
and I follow.

And when I have resolved,
and I am sure of myself,
and my wishes reappear
in the costume of devotion,
help me to return
to be still and listen again.
Another New Year’s Eve.

I yield to you fully,
and ask you only
to help me to return
and to return
and to return,
to be still and ready
each day.

__________________
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

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Resolution

         

                  
Holy One,
as a new year approaches
I seek to become not a new person
but more myself,
more aware of what is infinitely good in me,
more attentive to you in me,
who you become in me to be.

I am grateful for your presence,
in awe of your glory,
open to your grace
in me.

Unfold your light in me
and I will become you.
Unbind your compassion in me
and I will shine with you.
Be in me;
I will be in you.

______________________________
Weather Report

Light
today and tomorrow,
emanating from within.
Visibility will be mixed
as some hide the light and others glow.
An atmosphere of glory will prevail
as God moves through us all.

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

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Lead me

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         By the tender mercy of our God,
                  the dawn from on high will break upon us, 
         to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
                  to guide our feet into the way of peace.

                           —Luke 1. 78-79

         Pay attention to this
                  as to a lamp shining in a dark place,
         until the day dawns
                  and the morning star rises in your hearts.

                           —2 Peter 1.19

         We have seen his star, and we have come to honor him. 
                  —Matthew 2.2

God, lead me.
Your love is my morning star— awaken me;
my north star— lead me from what enslaves me.
I navigate by the star of your love.
I set myself for the long journey.

Give me courage to be led,
wisdom to let you lead me,
to follow and not stray, not turn back,
not go my own way.
Oh, pure star, save me from my own way.

I name those times I followed my own way…
and those times I followed your love…

May I see your star in my sky
and set my face toward it always.
Set my compass, God,
and keep me from straying.
I let go of my need to know the way,
my pride that I do,
my fear that I don’t.
You lead me, and I trust, give thanks and follow.

In stillness I listen for your whisper,
I feel for your nudging,
I give myself
to follow.
Love, lead me.

__________________
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

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The light

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         Arise, shine; for your light has come,
                  and the glory of God has risen upon you.
         For darkness covers the earth,
                  and thick darkness the peoples;
         but God arises upon you,
                  and God’s glory dawns among you.

                           —Isaiah 60.1-2

How we search for the light,
how we follow the distant star,
how bravely, how poignantly,
always reaching for that little ray,
like magi we go to great lengths—

or we don’t, we let it shine
in its own little corner of darkness;
we have other baubles to seek,
satisfied with unending dusk,

how nobly
either way
we go on

without the light

that is right here

(you,
God’s creature)

inside 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

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Christmas

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         

God is with us now,
this being

(our salvation)

unfolding
into being

this divinity
blossoming in
flesh

this love
finally making us
real

tugging our hearts
to life

this child
so dear

in love for whom
our own become
as well

so dear.

__________________

I wish you deep peace
renewed light
and love’s gentle presence
on this day.

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

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O come, O come

         
         

O come thou Mystery,
unseen, unbidden, unfelt,
but so madly needed here.

Come to us
who push you away with our despair,
snare us with wonder.

Come to us, the lonely and broken,
O Small One,
not to solve but to be with.

Come to us who grieve
place or worth or hope,
and find it with us.

Come to us in our smugness
and lay yourself down in the manger
of our secret wounds.

Come to us in our privilege
and let us hang our lives
on a poor little peasant child.

Come to us in our violent fear
and calm us with your tiny voice.
Ask us to love you.

For us who find it hard to love each other,
come and gather us in a circle,
have us care, have us sing.

Come to us, too afraid to need,
be fragile among us,
and let us fall in love.

Neglect our neglect, Emmanuel,
come and be a tiny flame of love among us,
and light our own.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

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Incarnation

         
         
My Word is made flesh.
This is how I live.
I am born not once long ago,
but each moment, always.

Will you be my flesh?
Having none of my own,
can I put you on and wear you
into the world?
Will you be born for me?

Walk in the woods for me, will you?
Touch what you can touch for me,
touch with gentle fingers.
Listen for me. Hear so that I may hear.
Smell pine and sage, babies and cities.
Smell for me.

Look with my eyes.
See what I long to see,
one thing at a time.

Be with the lonely for me, will you?
Stay close to the suffering,
dance with the joyful, dance
as only a body can dance.
Let your heart be broken,
as only a beating one can.
Reach out to the despised,
notice the beauty.
Dare to be a child in a rough world.
This is how I come.

You are my flesh now, dear one.
Bear me into this world
and I will always be in you
and in all you meet.
Have an eye for those who don’t know this;
see it in them even when they can’t.

Let me discover
what it is to come to myself
in my own Creation.
Look— even now
I am coming close,
seeking the manger.
Even now I enter.

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

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write to me at unfoldinglight(at) gmail.com

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Longest night

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         
         
Longest night.
Darkness falls like snow,
falls and falls, deepening.

Older than the universe,
here before it,
and will be after.

Wraps an arm around us
as if we’re old friends.
We are.

Darkness lives in us,
radiates from us.
We speak it.

Darkness is the velvet cloth
where you cherish the gem
of your presence among us,

darkness the womb,
darkness the manger
that cradles your light,

this holy being
that becomes us,
births us.

In the darkness
you do not come to us,
we come from you.

Because you are with and not apart,
even the darkness
is you.

Because you shine in it
the dark is our dark,
none of it unchanged.

Your being our light,
your hereness our life,
shining in the longest night.

____________________
To my friends in the Global South:

As you enter summer take heart:
the darkness, the womb in which life grows,
never deserts you, but even now
is returning for 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

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Waiting

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.
         

         
In the deepening darkness we stand
with our candles lit,
singing of our sorrows and our hopes.
We don’t notice him among us,
         with his candle.

We gather around the empty manger waiting
unaware of new life unfolding in us.
We don’t hear her voice
         blending so well with ours.

In the cold we huddle for warmth.
How could we understand
         how warm we are?

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
God with us,
we cry out
         with your voice.

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

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Magnificat

        My soul sings praise to God,
                  who has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
         God has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
                  and lifted up the lowly;
         God has filled the hungry with good things,
                  and sent the rich away empty.
                           —Luke 1.46, 51-53

This dance is not the wrecking ball it sounds like.
It’s only that we’re startled that it’s love not might.

The blossom bursts the stone we live in.
The Almighty naked and small, always, always.

In our vacancies the overwhelming Presence,
granting what we so firmly withhold,

saving what is beyond hope,
undoing our undoing,

lifting up what you despaired of,
putting to rest your own despotic king.

The righting of our upended minds.
Evil we can’t stop, stopped.

The mending of our grasp, and our failure to grasp.
Looking for love in all the right places.

In darkness thick as stone let there be life.
The truth of what is made of dust, or light.

Tyrants spew nightmares,
throw heavy shadows, heavy sounds,

but the poorest child defeats them.
A woman alive in her body shifts mountains.

She sings,
earth trembles.

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

Published
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