December 2, 2014

Wild Man John

The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,
"See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;
the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
'Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,'"
John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, "The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."
- Mark 1:1-8  

Rough like bark and a bark like a feral December dog
no smooth salesman with a fold out suitcase he
his work is black pumice, his words spray forth
like sandblasting, like crystallized winter winds

He leads us to where no gentleman or clergy could
a ritual place hidden in the woods in the mossy darkness
where our dread trembling shakes off veneers of goodness
we no longer don the icy cool surface of nice and okay

Take us down deep into every damn thing we hide about us
until our egos crack like eggs and white and yellow spill forth
to incubate in your woolly wildness some new man who
no longer lives for tame visions but only madcap holy ones


  1. Hi Michael, this is great. May I read it during our Advent service tonight?

    1. I'm the pastor at Epiphany Lutheran in Denver. We've actually met several times while I was a lutheran student at the Episcopal seminary down the road from 1st english.

    2. Hi. Good to hear from you. Thanks for your comment. Feel free to use with attribution.

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