We wait for new heavens and a new earth.
—2 Peter 3.13
Tourists came, too,
to see John the Baptist
ranting in the wilderness.
They stood back, eating ice cream
and watching the crowds in their awe,
watching the scholars interrogate him.
They liked the fire in his words,
pretty sure it was meant for others.
They had no idea about
the “One” he was raving about.
They had no idea even then the fire
that sparks us all into being
was falling, already consuming
John, and the baptized, and the crowds,
and the tourists and their ice cream,
and Jerusalem, and the Empire,
and the heavens and the earth,
all of it consumed
in fire and ashes,
out of which a new world sprouts
where we ourselves
are the smallest seedlings.
There are no onlookers to this fire.
If you yourself are not burning,
there is no flame.
December 8, 2020