Breath by breath

         We have been buried with Christ by baptism into death,
         so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God,
         so we too might walk in newness of life.

                  —Romans 6.4

God, take, me, all of me.
Let the “me” to which I’ve been clinging die.
Bury me in your love,
six feet under in your grace.
Your living heart be my grave.
All my schemes and beliefs,
my triumphs and failures, all gone.
All my powers ended,
my powerlessness a nothing.

Then in the darkness, the silence,
let there be light.
Let a new Creation arise,
and let it be me.
Let me be something you are creating,
moment by moment,
by your Word alone,
breathing your Spirit breath by breath,

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

—May 30, 2019

Above all rule

         God raised Christ from the dead
         and seated Christ at God’s right hand in the heavenly places,
         far above all rule and authority and power and dominion.

                  —Ephesians 1.20-21

Think Higher Power… then go higher than that.
Imagine the embodiment of God’s love,
the divine Presence, God’s intimacy,
as the absolute fundament of Creation.
The love that begets you, that walks with you,
the tenderness that feels your wounds and dries your tears,
the noble courage that sees the magnificent in you,
the beauty that unfolds in you as in lilacs and galaxies,
that love that will die for you, and does, over and over,
that love—as the most powerful thing in the universe.
Imagine all our little tragedies gathered up
into those gentle, immense arms,
every sin and every triumph blessed,
every child and every tyrant held
in those tender, wounded hands.
The All of everything, the Is of the universe,
the One of infinite belovedness,
Christ, your Heavenly Lover,
above all and including all
and redeeming all of it. All of it.
Offer wonder, praise and trust.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 30, Ascension Day, 2019


         He withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven.
—Luke 24.51

How dare he?
Just up and leave?
How hard to admit:
Christ is not ours.
There is an else-ness to them,
a beyondness we can’t comprehend.
The Anointed One belongs to something greater,
and is not ours.
For a time they have made themselves
as small as he could,
but now we see how infinite the Beloved is.
And if we have listened to what he said
while he walked among us so we could hear,
we would see this in every soul,
for none is apart from this whole.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

—May 29, 2019


         I ask …that they may all be one.
         As you, Father, are in me and I am in you,
         may they also be in us…

                  —John 17.20, 21

We are one.
It is not our choice.
Our unity is not opinion
or willingness to get along.
It is God’s doing, not ours.
There is only one thing,
one Creation, one humanity,
and we are all part of it.
We are all members of one body,
all fingers of the same hand,
like it or not.
Our choice is to honor or dishonor
people who are part of ourselves.
We needn’t worship together,
vote alike, agree or strive in parallel;
we may oppose each other.
But we do so as equals, as one,
joined in the flesh of creation,
in the oneness of Spirit.
Even members of the Holy Trinity
may see things differently.
We are in Christ, by God’s will,
and haven’t the power to be otherwise.
We are One.
May we live as one.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 28, 2019

In Memoriam

Today I give thanks for all those
who have nonviolently given their lives
for the sake of peace,
who have suffered and sacrificed and even died
for the sake of justice and healing.
I give thanks for those who suffered
for the underground railroad,
for the cause of unions, for women’s suffrage, in the civil rights movement,
In antiwar and environmental work.
For those who have sacrificed, suffered and died
without weapons in their hands
I give thanks, and honor their service.
And I pray that we all may emulate their courage, 
their vision and their hearts of peace, 
and give ourselves in the cause of justice. 
May God bless not only the great sacrifices 
but every Little step we take 
for the sake of the mending of the world. 

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

— May 27, 2019

Small stones

There are times, beholding the wounds of the world,
we feel inadequate. We haven’t dome enough.
Yes, there are those who give their blood on the ramparts,
who are tireless in their work for justice and healing.
It is only together that we are they.
Remember you are not asked to save the world,
or even a single creature.
You are asked to listen,
to hear what you are called to do,
great or small,
and to do that.

In the stone wall I walk past every morning
there are small stones
that hold the great ones in place.

In the chorus you only sing one part
but when you change your note
you change the whole chord.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

      —May 24, 2019

Do you want to be healed?

         When Jesus saw him lying there
         and knew that he had been there a long time,
         he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?”

                  —John 5.6

Oh, God, so many things I pray for
I don’t really want.
I pretend I’m fine.

Help me to want your will.
Help me to want to be healed.
I renounce my excuses, all of them.

Loosen my grip on what I cling to.
Heal my fear of being changed,
and what that would look like.
Remove the shortcomings
I have grown to rely on.
Give me grace to surrender,
to allow.

God, do not listen to my loudest voice
but the quiet one
that will turn my will over to you.

Yes. I want to be made well.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 23, 2019

Poured into our hearts

         Suffering produces endurance,
         and endurance produces character,
         and character produces hope,
         and hope does not disappoint us,
         because God’s love has been poured into our hearts
         through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

                  —Romans 5.3-5

Poured in,
not a trickle or a little cupful, but a deep river,
a Niagara Falls of love, an Amazon of grace,
swirling with unseen currents, eddies whirling,
curling about the stones and banks of our hearts,
Jordan of promise, Red Sea of freedom,
deep enough for Jonah’s whale,
pouring into our hearts, meeting every space,
taking the shape of our hearts, welling up
with the living water of the well at Sychar,
Jesus and the woman dipping deeply,
this love that bears us through all suffering,
for “when you pass through the waters
I will be with you,” still pouring,
even the suffering with the love in it;
and our only life purpose is to drink,
to let the love pour in and soak us, overflow
and spill out in every possible way,
because this is what the Spirit is doing in us,
thirsty for God, the holy emptiness that keeps filling
like a river emptying and becoming itself
in love, the pouring of it unending.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 22, 2019

Peaceful presence

rublev  trinity.jpg

         “Those who love me will keep my word,
         and my Mother-and-Father will love them, and we will come to them
         and make our home with them.
         The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Mother-and-Father will send in my name,
         will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you.
         Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.”

                  —John 14.23, 26-27

Holy Trinity, Mystery of Love,
Holy Community, Heavenly Family,
I open my heart to your presence,
making your home with me.
I sit among you, sibling,
gathered at our table,
fourth member of the Trinity.
I open my heart to your peace,
settled about me like a home.
I open my heart to your whole family,
all of us beloved,
all of us siblings,
all of us enfolded
in your loving, peaceful presence.
All of us holy.

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 21, 2019

In the beginning

         In the beginning
         when God created the heavens and the earth,
         the earth was a formless void
         and darkness covered the face of the deep,
         while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.

                        —Genesis 1.1-2

In darkness and chaos
         God breathes over the water,
                  Creation awaits.

In the void, the emptiness,
         there is space
                  for the new.

Over the face of the deep
         is the holy silence
                  in which the One will speak.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

   —May 20, 2019

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