Lent - Repent
“As Lent is a time for greater love, listen to Jesus' thirst. 'Repent & believe,' Jesus tells us. What are we to repent? Our indifference, our hardness of heart... He knows your weakness. He wants only your love. He wants only the chance to love you." – Mother Theresa
Lent is a season of self-examination and penitence. Penitence is not merely feeling bad about sin, but turning away from it. The theological term is "repent." To repent is to change - to move in a new direction. It's turning away from those things that entrap and ensnare us. It's refraining from those behaviors and habits that draw us away from God. When we repent, we root out bitterness that prevents us from loving our spouse, siblings, and neighbors. When we repent, we confront the fears that dictate how we use our time, gifts, and talents. When we repent, we address our indifference to the suffering of others. When we repent, we confess that our hearts are cold and we have drifted away from God. Here's a definition of repentance that I've shared with you before:
Repentance is experiencing a change in heart that leads to a change in behavior. It's a changed mindset that leads to a changed life.
Richard Rohrer writes in his book, "Breathing Under Water," that many Christians never go into their inner rooms. This is the space where our hurts, wounds, disappointments, and anger are secretly hidden and stored. This is also the space where Jesus longs to meet us. Lent is an appropriate time to enter our inner room and engage in spring cleaning - a season of restoration and renewal. As we continue our Lenten journey, I invite you to respond to Jesus' gentle invitation to trust him. Invite him into your inner room. As you do so, may you receive God's forgiveness and freedom - as Christ leads us in the path of repentance and resurrection. Prayer: Loving God, thank you for the gift of Lent. Thank you that you love us with an unwavering, unchanging love. Give us faith and courage as we examine our hearts and take inventory of our inner rooms. Help us to experience anew your matchless gift of love. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen. - Pastor Caleb