Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near. – Matt 4:17 Repent. That’s a word that is hard to use and hard to hear. Too often, we hear the word repent as a club being used to beat us into a guilty obedience to an angry God. We need to rescue the word from religious abuses. We need to find a way to understand and to do repentance that is life giving.
I recently read a quote from Thomas Keating that offers hope. Keating says that to repent is to, “change the direction in which we are looking to find happiness.” I am intrigued by this. How often do we look outside ourselves for happiness, trying to be popular in the eyes of others, or trying to acquire wealth and possessions, or looking for some sort of deliverance from the world or our lives? What if we are looking in the wrong direction? What if we are meant to look inward, to our hearts and to the presence of God? What if we are meant to look with the eyes of love and see the sacred in others?
As we enter into the season of Lent, let’s explore what this repentance might mean together. I will be offering the next class in the Freedom in Christ series starting on Sunday morning and Monday evening. In four sessions, we will look deeply at forgiveness. Forgiveness is one of the ways we can change the direction in which we are looking for happiness.
I hope you will join me as we continue to explore how we can find freedom through Christ. I pray that your Lenten disciplines will allow you to look to God, who is present here and now, in us, and for us, and through us for the world.
Yours in Christ,