Poem by Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk

Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk
Maki Ashe Van Steenwyk stands near a communion table, wearing a yellow, blue and white dress, at Living Table UCC.

Ashe concluded her sermon on May 21, 2023 with her poem about the Holy Spirit, shared here.

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The Spirit is the breath of God.
The Spirit animates life.
The Spirit is birthing a new world.
The Spirit is in every true word.
The Spirit breaks every chain.
The Spirit opens ears and eyes.
The Spirit makes a new way where there is no way.
But you must understand. The Holy Spirit brings comfort and healing, bus she is not a caged bird.
She is not to be placed under a sheet at the church altar.
She flies where she will.
She is never commanded.
She is never used.
She is unpredictable.
Wherever the Spirit is, the Spirit subverts. The Spirit subverts death wherever she blows.
But the forces of death are never idle. They are working even here and now. We are surrounded by systems of oppression. Weapons and myths that kill body and soul.
Cruel chains twist upon the face of the earth but also winding their way around our minds and bodies.
* * *
The Spirit is here. That Queer, deviant bird hovers over us now.
Listen to those next to you, breathing in and out.
Listen to the sound of your own breath.
This is the Breath of God.
Breath it all in.
Be filled.
Let the chains fall.
And go, liberate the face of the earth.

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