Hallowed be thy name

                   You shall not make wrongful use
                    of the name of the Holy One your God.
                                                     
—Exodus 20. 7

                    …hallowed be thy name…  
                                                    —Mathew 6.9

Loving Mystery, I surrender all claim to you,
to make you mine.
I surrender all my names for you
that get me what I want.

Holy One, may all I do today hallow your name.
May every thought and word reflect your love,
may every act honor your presence,
may my very being proclaim your praise.

To all who see or hear me,
and where I am only before the angels,
and in those secret places
where no one knows but you,
by your grace in me
in everything I do today
hallowed be your name.

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

September 30, 2020

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No other gods

         I am the Holy One your God,
         who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
         out of the house of slavery; 
         you shall have no other gods before me.

                                —Exodus 20.2-3

No other god,
not the one who judges you,
not the one who needs for you to look good
or do well,
not the one who makes you need something
you don’t have,
not the one who goes around beating up
everybody you don’t like.
No— just the One who sets you free.

No other power,
no other fixation,
no other highest value,
no other reason—
only the One who has brought you up
out of whatever tight spot you were in,
whatever stuck place,
whatever cellar-hole,
the fear that enslaved you,
the ego that ruled you,
the shame that bound you—
the One who frees you from that.

And not the one who makes you think
you’re the only one.
Worship the one, and only the one,
who also frees every other human being alive.
who insists on such freedom
for all their children, all their Beloved.

Worship that one alone,
and you shall be free.

__________________
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light
www.unfoldinglight.net 
   —September 28, 2020

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Graven images

 You shall not make for yourself a graven image.
—Exodus 20. 6

Of course the worst graven image of God is the old white man,
kind of distant, a little unpredictable and sometimes mean,
a user of violence when helpless to think of anything else.
Get rid of that one right now.
But all of your images: let go of them.
God is to your image of God
what the universe is to the word “universe.”

Let God be the Presence that unfolds in your presence,
the Being of Being, that words only shrink,
that, like a song, is continually becoming what it is becoming,
a symphony you’ve heard and it moves you
and echos in you but you can’t sing it.

Whatever God we were made in the image of
is more than we can imagine.
A God you can “get” is an idol,
not the real thing.

Let God be infinite and the world a little bit of God,
all joy and sorrow, beauty and brutality, all mystery,
love expanding in us, eternal,
from the beginning of time
poured into us, the glory of the entire human race,
not just one part, all of creation, not just one part,
you and all of it, and more than that.
The Holy, the One. Anything less is an idol.

Meditate on this:
There is only one thing,
and that is God.

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

September 29, 2020

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Strike the rock

                “Moses, strike the rock, and water will come out of it,
                 so that the people may drink.”
                                                                   
—Exodus 17.6

Awful journey. Barren place. 
Deep thirst. Despair, looking back.

Imagining this is where the journey ends.
Dry rock. Hard place.

Yes, and this: there’s no water in it—yet.
But there will be, if you strike the rock.

You don’t have to believe. Just swing. It’s not
the rock. It’s God’s grace and your willingness:

not knowing, foolish as can be,
only trusting. Courage.

There will be water.
Strike the rock. 

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

September 25, 2020

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Just who do you think you are?

         The chief priests and the elders of the people
came to Jesus as he was teaching, and said,
“By what authority are you doing these things,
and who gave you this authority?”
—Matthew 21.23

“Just who do you think you are?”

It’s a favorite question of people
locked in a ladder universe,
a skinny two-dimensional hierarchy
in which everybody knows their place,
and it’s small:
the dominant caste at the top,
subservient castes beneath,
all in order.
And the job of the people above
is to keep the people below from rising.

No one, of course, not even death itself,
could keep Jesus from rising.
Or raising up his Beloved.

You are not on a ladder.
You have the authority
of being created in God’s image.
God gave it to you.
That is the highest authority.
So let your light shine.
Live as God’s Beloved.
Speak the truth, embody resurrection.
Be the glory of God.
That’s Who You are.

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

September 24, 2020

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Eqionox

                      This is for all of you,
               no matter which hemisphere you live in.

Six months ago
an old woman walked in from the garden,
carrying the basket that is sometimes full
then empty, sometimes empty then full.
She noticed the little changes
in the leaves on the hillside trees,
not much yet, but she noticed.
She sighed, turned and looked
at the garden, and the long road
purling around the hill,
the sun just beyond the horizon,
remembering for a moment how it had been,
before turning into the house,
and what comes next.

Now, the same thing,
only it’s the other season.

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

September 23, 2020

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For life

For the empty seat, we hold silence.
         Love, have mercy.
For the two hundred thousand, we weep.
         Love, have mercy.
For the homes incinerated, we mourn.
         Love, have mercy.
For the rule of law, we lament.
         Love, have mercy.

For kindness and nonviolence, we pray.
         Love, have mercy.
For courage to stand, to speak, to act, we pray.
         Love, have mercy.
For faith in one another,
that we still hold the future in our hands, we pray.
         Love, have mercy.

For justice that dismantles oppression,
hope that overcomes despair,
for faith that overpowers dread,
for love that defeats fear,
for joy that will not be taken from us, we pray.
         Love, have mercy.
In the face of all that oppresses,
give us trust in grace unseen;
give us hearts to rise, to serve,
yes, even to sing
         for life,
         for life.

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

September 22, 2020

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Scrapbook

I open my heart’s scrapbook.
I bless every picture, every page:
the carefully posed triumphs,
the candid moments,
the ugly ones (how did they get in there?),
the scraps of memories, fond and not so.
I bless them all. Each is part of the tale.
The blessings I remember, those are easy.
I hold them up to the light and say thank you.
The blessings I don’t remember, never noticed:
those, too.
The wounds, the bent places,  the purple scars,
the lumps and limps
I take up in my arms and I kiss them,
for they belong, invisibly laden,
still teaching, still unfolding.
The times when fear overpowered love,
when the child overwhelmed the adult,
the mistakes, the terrors,
the little tender weak places that still tremble,
still fall to their knees—
each is a page in the story.
Each I take in my hands and bless:
holy, holy,
mystery…

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

September 21, 2020

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What is it?

           When the Israelites saw it,
             they said to one another,
             “What is it?”
                                    —Exodus 16.15

The word “Manna” in Hebrew
sounds like “What is it?”

It’s not a name,
it’s a question.

There is no handle for grace.
No tag, just a tug.

No logic,
just wonder.

You can’t name it,
understand, measure it.

You can only take it in.
Like a kiss.

Grace comes to you.
It leaves a taste in your mouth.

All you can do is receive it,
and wonder.

And live
the question.

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

September 17, 2020

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Manna

                         They asked, and you brought quails,
                 and gave them food from heaven in abundance.
                                     —Psalm 105.40

The resilience
that will get you through
the worst troubles
is not inner strength
but simple trust
that in every moment,
no matter how dire
there is grace enough
to get you through
the worst troubles.

___________________
Weather Report
Manna:
blessing precipitating
even from dark clouds,
falling into the lowest places,
and though it may taste like ashes,
giving life.

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

September 16, 2020

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Categorized as Reflections