The Christian life is in many ways a life of repentance. On the day of Pentecost, Peter told the crowd to repent and be baptized. Repentance begins before our baptism but it does not stop there. As we walk through life we are confronted with parts of ourselves that are radically different than Jesus. We also begin to see sins that just won’t seem to go away. God’s request for us to repent is very much connected to his grace. God isn’t so much demanding repentance as he is offering a way out of a lifestyle that is killing us. John Chryssavgis writes about this in his book Soul Mending. He writes, “We have become so accustomed to thinking of repentance as an unpleasant, though necessary and obligatory rejection of the sin we ‘enjoy,’ that we have tended to lose sight of repentance as a fundamentally joyous, restorative return to life in its fullness.” I don’t think we normally think of repentance and joy in the same sentence.
The next time you are called to repent maybe you can have a new viewpoint and see it as a doorway to freedom. God is calling you back to life and away from that which is robbing you of life.
Have a great weekend.
Allen L. Close
This Week’s sermon: “Deborah to the Rescue”