Updated: 6 days ago
Each of us has a way of making life work that doesn't involve Jesus. That is the case whether we are attempting to follow Jesus or want nothing to do with him. Because of the incredible freedom that God gives us to choose, we can do today with our without Jesus. The word "repentance" can get a bad rap. We hear or see the word and often think that we need to say we are sorry about something. That is not what Jesus had in mind when he invited his first followers to repent. The Amplified Bible translates Jesus's first words in Mark, "Repent (change your inner self--your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God's purpose for your life), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Mark 3:2) With that perspective, repentance is being aware of our freedom, realizing our propensity to do life on our own terms and then choosing to walk through this day, this hour, this moment with Jesus.
"The next hour, the next moment, is as much beyond our grasp and as much in God's care, as that a hundred years away. Worry about the next minute is just as foolish as worry about tomorrow, or for a day in the next thousand years--in neither can we do anything. In both God is doing everything." An Anthology of George MacDonald
I love that last line from MacDonald, "In both God is doing everything." Do we believe that? Perhaps that is at the heart of repentance. It is so easy to think that we are on our own, that today is up to us. We get into a situation in real time, and for most of us our knee-jerk reaction is "What am I going to do now?" or "What am I going to do about this?" Perhaps the repentance that Jesus invites his followers to over and over in the Gospels is a lifestyle of believing that God is with them, that they are not on their own. I believe Jesus's message is the same for all who seek to follow him.
As we walk through the uncertainty of today, may we see repentance as an invitation to believe that God is with us, that we are indeed not on our own.
- Shawn -