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How do you practice authenticity?

This week we hear the first proclamations of John the Baptist, just before he baptizes Jesus, as he roams the desert in camel's hair clothes, eating locusts and wild honey. John is unmistakably himself. He is not swayed by the opinions of others, nor does he participate in their systems of power and influence. He makes his own clothes, he finds his own food, he speaks his own mind. He is one of one. John has a message, his own good news for the poor, the prisoner, and the afflicted; that one is coming who will make all things new. One is coming who will usher in a new kingdom. One is coming who will baptize with fire and the spirit. But John is not waiting for this one who is coming to live into and fully embody this new kingdom, this new world order. He is living it right now, even as he anticipates its arrival. By being his most authentic, locust eating, honey harvesting, pharisee berating, clothes making self, he is living in the kingdom, even as he awaits its coming in glory. What are the practices you use to help live most fully into your authentic self? What is your vision for the kingdom of heaven? How can you live that out and embody it today?

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