You don’t have to travel across the world
to be baptized in the Jordan River;
only through the space time continuum.
By the power of the Spirit of God
The still clear bowl of the modern font
Becomes the flow of that ancient water;
Cleansing you as it was itself once cleansed
by him who came after and yet before.
“This is my beloved,” the voice beckons,
Echoing from those first century shores,
And into our very own, and beyond.
Calling out to the called out ones, it rings
Truer than our own truths we held so dear
Before we, too, were brought through that River.
The sun remains set
but we are both awake.
You more anxious than me
To go outside.
It isn’t until I feel the chill of the air
That I realize
You aren’t the only one
Who has been holding it all night.
“What’s the difference,” I ask
“Between this and a camping trip?
You know the kind
Where a shovel counts as outdoor plumbing
And you’re grateful for
The softness of a leaf?"
So I make my way to the fence
And with a nod of understanding
And a wag of your tail
Me alone with my thoughts.
Moments later we both return inside,
The altar rail is a microcosm
of a universe
held together by sacrament.
Imposed ashes speak
louder than the words.
The priest says
“Remember thou art dust."
But in their eyes, and his, it sounds more like
“This year, or perhaps next,
I will commend your ashes, not these."
“The body of Christ”
is heard in ten thousand ways,
most of them unspoken.
The altar rails is
the cosmos in micro.