Glory

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

All of us, with unveiled faces,
seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror,
are being transformed into the same image
from one degree of glory to another;
for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.

— 2 Corinthians 3.18

You are made of glory.
When you look at Christ, shining with light,
that is your own radiance you see,
the handprints of the Creator,
who works not in oils or clay but glory.
The splendor of the sunrise is no greater,
the shy moon no more comely.
A beauty, deep and given,
blazes within, a rose unfurling,
a world becoming, beyond confinement,
yet, in our alarm at such fire within us,
shrouded, dappled, harbored.
Remove the veil, look in awe,
learn to see it without being intimidated,
give thanks plainly.
God, the center of a galaxy,
flames within you, radiates calmly.
In time you come to trust this,
shed your shadows, and become
without apology
pure glory.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at) hotmail.com

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Beholding the Transfiguration

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

While he was praying, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly they saw two men, Moses and Elijah, talking to him. They appeared in glory and were speaking of his departure, which he was about to accomplish at Jerusalem. Now Peter and his companions were weighed down with sleep; but since they had stayed awake, they saw his glory and the two men who stood with him. Just as they were leaving him, Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here; let us make three dwellings, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”—not knowing what he said. While he was saying this, a cloud came and overshadowed them; and they were terrified as they entered the cloud. Then from the cloud came a voice that said, “This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!”

— Luke 9.29-35

Jesus shines as an icon of God, the fulfillment of the law and prophets. Caught up in the satisfaction of it, we are tempted to somehow capture the moment, take control of the mystery, possess the grace, contain the power. We want to build a box. But grace can’t be contained. We have no control; the power is loose; the mystery confounds and passes on. All we have is the present moment. All we can do is keep awake and pay attention. We can’t possess the glory, but we can receive it. We can’t master the mystery, but we can behold it. We can listen. In truth we do not confess Christ as Lord with our lips, but with our ears. May your heart be open to the mystery and glory of the Presence, the Love of Heaven shining in your midst. How can you behold the glory? Keep listening, keep listening.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at) hotmail.com

Published
Categorized as Reflections

Sea

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Your prayers are already in you
like water in the sea.

All you have to do is let them rise
from you like mist.

You and the sea will dry up on the same day
ten billion years from now

when you have
other concerns.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright (c) 2010
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Masks

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Love your enemies; do good to those who hate you;
bless those who curse you; pray for those who mistreat you.

— Luke 6. 27-28

Be compassionate for those who have learned
by hard and hurtful experience
to mask their fear with anger,
whose meanness is really loneliness,
whose arrogance is actually insecurity,
whose hard heartedness is the only safe place
they know where to hide their terrible wound.
Be kind to those who do not know how to be kind,
for most likely no one has shown them kindness.
Forgive those who seem always to be fighting,
for it may be the only way they know how
to reach out and touch someone.
Be gentle with those who yell at you,
for they’re only trying to show you what hurts.
Be kind to the ungrateful and the selfish,
for only thus will you know
how deeply and freely God loves you.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________
Copyright (c)Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Of your love

Divine Love,
of your love
all day long I am unfolding the letter,
of your love
all day long I am uncovering the treasure,
all day long I am unclasping the chest,
all day long I am welcoming the courier,
I am approaching the door,
I am tipping the vessel.
Of your love all day long
I am feeling the hands,
I am removing the clothes,
I am hearing the song,
I am falling into the heart,
slipping into the inside.
Of your love
all day long
there is always yet more.
Of your love
all day long
may I be mindful and rejoice.

_______________________________
Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Flood me

Infinite, Loving Presence,
this day, in all light and darkness,
flow into me through my eyes.
In every sound and silence I hear,
fill me through my ears.
In everything I touch,
and everything I release,
flood me through my hands.
May the infinite presence of your Spirit
pour into me in every breath.
With every mysterious beat of my heart
and all my words and thoughts and deeds,
by your gentle grace, may your love
flow into this open world
this day through me.

_______________________________

Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Groundhog Day

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Today is Groundhog Day, when a groundhog emerging from its burrow will predict whether there will be six more weeks of winter. I’m sure it’s a reliable way to predict the future. Well, OK, maybe not. I bet the groundhog is not contemplating the future, but simply coming out of his burrow.

But in his honor, consider the movie “Groundhog Day.” In it a TV reporter is sent unwillingly, resentfully, in fact, to cover the ceremony in Punxatwney, PA. The whole time he wishes he were somewhere else. The next day he wakes up and it’s Groundhog Day all over again. Indeed, he keeps repeating the same day over and over, Groundhog Day after Groundhog Day. He goes through a series of responses: he gets goofy and does things he normally wouldn’t, knowing there will be no consequences. He does various terrible deeds, even getting himself killed, knowing he’ll wake up again the next day and start all over. He takes piano lessons. He does good deeds. He flirts with the woman he’s attracted to. But he’s always yearning to get out of Groundhog Day, and he never does. Day after day, it’s still the very same Feb. 2. Day after day, he wishes he were elsewhere. But eventually he comes to a point when he forgets himself and becomes entirely present, perfectly satisfied with the present moment—and finally he breaks free and re-enters the real world.

It’s simple: be present. We so easily get caught up in rehashing the past, worrying about the future, wishing things were otherwise, being elsewhere. Ironically the more we wish things were otherwise, the more stuck we are. It’s only when we accept What Is that we are set free. We can only move into an actual future from the real present.

Today let the groundhog predict the future. You stay in the present. Live it while it’s here. It won’t come again. The present moment is all you have: if you don’t live in it, you don’t have anything. Accept what is. It’s good enough. Let this whole day be the one, unrepeatable gift that it is. May it be a blessed one.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Paper boat

How amazing that you have chosen
the thin paper boat of my life
in which to cross this sea,

a little sheet folded in certain shape
to make a cupped-hands dish,
the printing running this way and that.

Somehow over the wind-raked expanse
and through the stomping surf
this weightless little scrap arrives

and you step out and smile and say,
“Thank you. I’m so glad to be here.”
and I look around the gentle shore and wonder:

how the heck do you do that?

__________________
Copyright (c) Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Absolute love

Dearly Beloved,

Grace and Peace to you.

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you… and you will be children of the Most High; for God is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Mother is merciful.
— Luke 6. 27-28, 35-36

God, I am your beloved,
whom you love absolutely and perfectly.
No matter how good or bad I am , you love me wholly.
Help me to trust in your love,
your perfect, absolute, infinite love for me,
to trust that no matter what happens
I know that I am beloved.
Help me to love with your love,
love that is absolute and not conditional.
Give me the courage to love, the wisdom,
the freedom, the strength of heart.
Help me to surrender every desire but to love,
every wish to judge, to punish, to prevail.

God, I hold before you those whom I find it hard to bless.
They are your beloved, too, no matter what. Bless them.
Grant them healing, forgiveness and wholeness of life.
May the blessing you shower upon them
be the blessing you grant to me.
Amen.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

_______________________________

Copyright (c) 2010
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com

Wind

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and peace to you.

In the relentless wind
the people on the street stagger
to keep from crashing into each other.

We look most of the time like strangers,
like we’re ignoring each other,
as if we have nothing to do with each other,

but actually our lowered heads
and preoccupied gazes, our silences
and fastidious avoidances

are how we lurch and resist
the powerful wind howling within us, given,
that bends us with irresistible love

toward each other.

____________________

Weather Report

Overwhelming,
as the entire atmospheric condition
of our relatedness sweeps through us.
Invisible connection will prevail,
despite scattered areas of resistance.

Deep blessings,
Pastor Steve

___________________
Copyright © 2010
Steve Garnaas-Holmes
unfoldinglight(at)hotmail.com