The word of God is living and active,
           sharper than any two-edged sword,
           piercing until it divides soul from spirit, joints from marrow;
           it is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

                                 —Hebrews 4.12

           “This child is destined for the falling and the rising
           of many in Israel,
           and to be a sign that will be opposed
           so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed—
           and a sword will pierce your own soul too.”
—Luke 2.34-35

Not the rise and fall of many, but the falling and rising.
Death first, then resurrection.
(The “sleeping and rising” of the sower, Mark 4.26.)

A “sign” that exposes our resistance.
A sword that separates truth from delusion,
action from wishing.

So. Your inner thoughts.
Not your opinion about Jesus,
but your willingness to die first,
and then rise with him.

Let the sword pierce your heart.
Are you ready—today—to die
(once more, and again…)
and then to be raised?
Or just thinking about it?

Anna and Simeon knew the moment
when they saw it.


Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

December 29, 2020

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