"Wheels Turning Inward" is a is a rich collection of over fifty poems, following a poet’s mythic and spiritual journey that crosses easily onto the paths of many contemplative traditions. The artwork at the top of this page, is one image found in the Gordon Moore Memorial stain glass window at Trinity Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, by the artist Kim Clark Renteria. The image of these three circles, is emblematic of both the Trinity and the title for this new collection of poetry now available from Friesen Press.

Thursday, December 31, 2009


It is hard work
this praxis of union with God
who knows how long it will take

some say a lifetime
Buddhists and Hindus say several
theirs may be the longer road it seems

I am afraid that
I have no patience, of flesh and bone
to wait that long, God calls unceasingly

I know this
that each time I partake
in Holy Communion, Christ comes

Each time I hear the Eucharistic words
of thanksgiving spoken
each time I feel the mystery of
the Holy Spirit descending

Each time I open
my hands and heart
in stillness and sacrament
Christ comes

With a soft and gentle
intensity beyond all words
to tell

It is not a simple thing to tell at all
God it seems, is always waiting in the wings
such divine grace is always given
as a gift unearned

Whenever I open my hands, even now
in this very instant
as during Eucharist
Christ comes
in this moment of epiclesis

To land lightly in each palm
held upward in reverence, in prayer
becoming a reflection of holiness
that travels throughout my whole being
binding his spirit to my flesh and bone

Opening my whole self
filling my own broken body with a light, that blooms
to transform all truth, reality itself

Tongues of flame
burning brightly with a radiance
as on the day of Pentecost

To become one with Christ
as Eve was once joined to Adam
“bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh"

Ron Starbuck

Copyright 2009

John Calvin the 16th century Protestant Reformationist and French theologian believed passionately that the Eucharist or Holy Communion is God's gift to us. God is the giver and we are the receivers of this divine gift. As Christians we are united to Christ in his body and blood by the Holy Spirit. This union is so intense, so very real, that we can rightly say we are "bone of his bone and flesh of his flesh (Genesis 2:23-24)."  We are embodied in Christ, as declared in Ephesians 5:30: "We are members of his body." Both our salvation and redemption as Christians is found in this union with Christ.

When we look at Jesus as a teacher, revealer, and redeemer he came not so much to form a new religion, but to help us improve our relationships with God and one another.  His two core commandments were to worship God, and to love and care for each other.  And even though God has very high values, God understands that as human beings we can't always live up to those values. God still loves us all the same; God forgives us, and will let us make a new start, time and time again. Indeed, it is our common every day imperfections that make perfect our compassion. So too, must we learn to forgive one another.

Jesus teaches us that “Our Father (Abba) who art in heaven,” maker of all creation, who knows the position and state of every solar system and planet in the universe(s), every molecule ever formed, and even every subatomic particle dancing through space and time, cares deeply about us each. Christians believe that when Jesus Christ as the Incarnate Word, became human, he opened a door for us to become intimately connected with God. How this all happens is a divine mystery, but it does happen. It is happening now.