John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” – Mark 1:4

I am more accustomed to proclaiming
a baptism of forgiveness, Jesus, a baptism
of the Holy Spirit, a baptism of renewal.

I am more accustomed to confining
the language of repentance to my own
inadequacies, imperfections.

But as the pictures flicker on the screens,
and as the lies continue multiplying, then
I know I must repent a frightened silence, and

I summon up the words of John. Repent, you brood
of vipers, shed delusion, accept truth, and turn
from violent desecration of the nation

that you claim to love.

A poem/prayer based on Mark 1:4-11, the Revised Common Lectionary Alternate Psalm Reading for Year B, First Sunday after the Epiphany, the Baptism of Christ.

The image is Preaching of John the Baptist by Rembrandt – Gemäldegalerie, Berlin, Public Domain,

2 thoughts on “Repentance

    • I find anger too easy. It’s not a good place for me to be for myself or for others. It can sometimes lend clarity, but that clarity can also be an illusion.

      Turned inward, though, doesn’t anger become depression?

      Be strong, my friend.

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