Mark 1:5

The whole of Judea, as well as all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, went out to him; and they were baptized by him in the Jordan River, confessing their sins.

all the people
are not all the people
all black lives matter
clarifies who all
always means
specifically the all
not part of all who matter

all the left out
and left behind
and not even seen
come out

out to the desert
out to all their
non-being part of all

out to be refined
out to confess their unity
every part a part of all

claimed by all to be sin
claimed by a new all
to be blessed and baptized
without authority
to author a new all

How many baptisms and re-baptisms or renewals of baptism have you experienced? How many confessions and absolutions and penances and new beginnings have you had. Enough to call “Legion”?

Now multiply that times “everyone”.

The imperfect tense of the Greek here suggests a continual parade of recognizing dissatisfaction with our current standards of interaction, leaving our usual haunts, proceeding to an anti-haunt of wilderness, sharpening our critique into confession, doubling down on that by sewing a blazing letter “A” for Alpha (a new start) on our tunic, and returning to our old setting without critical tools to shift it. And around we go again.

Baptism as a new and innovative attempt to change lives does begin with heightening a heart’s desire. Unfortunately it runs smack into unchanged habits. As water magic it does call to a person’s internal tides. We sense pre-creation’s deep dark growing, but without an ability to call out for revealing light or naming rights.

Our confession opens a possibility of shifting to a profession able to see a crack in an individual’s life and to rearrange both molecules and morale that a healing, not a curing, take place and a whole community be rewoven together. Such a profession is G*D moving outside of Eden to labor with creation, labor at leaving behind an old guarded tree, and labor toward a healed tree-of-life become a source of a living river, not just being its neighbor.

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