Then Come, The Journey of Repentance

Posted on March 01, 2018

A Journey of Repentance

Repentance

Repentance is the sincere conviction that we have fallen for something lesser than the greatest good promised us in faith. It is to acknowledge – with or without emotion or deep sentiment – that we have been offered all, but have settled for our will, so often seeking consolation in what we can control and grasp for ourselves.

How are you settling? What is the truest good you are ultimately seeking?

“Repent and believe the good news!”[1]

Turning

“Repent and believe,” turning our mind, our heart, our body from the known that we’ve taken comfort in, to the unknown of God, from the “less” that we’ve settled for to the all that is in store. We turn, we fix our gaze, and we walk. How brave it is to live in the present, to trust moment to moment, even when the path is unknown and our hearts seem blind!

What will be your first small step?

“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them.”[2]

Conversion

As we walk, we become aware of our “provisions” for the journey, growing heavier with every step. But what are these burdens, if not our defenses? Our plan, in case He won’t guide us; our past accomplishments and current striving, should we have to defend ourselves[3]; our distractions and fears, the armor of choice against encountering the moment, the uncertainty of the future, and finding ourselves alone with God.

Now is the time to choose again between the seeming certainty of self-reliance, and unknown outcome of trust and deeper surrender.

In what have you put your faith?

 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”[4]

Listen

Matthew, Mark and Luke, recount the story of the rich young man who falls at Jesus’ feet: “’Good teacher’, he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’”[5] The young man had already come so far! He was drawn to Jesus, sought Him out, and even had the courage to ask the question that burned in him, “What do I still lack?”[6]

Jesus looked at him, “loved him,” and told him the truth.

We too can ask: Jesus, what do I still lack?

“Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.”[7]

Then, Come Follow Me

Receiving the answer to our question, we right the wrong as he commands,[8] and respond with new joy to his invitation, “Then come, follow me.” This Lent, may we hear this invitation anew echoing in our hearts, shed the burdens that weigh us down, and race to meet Him.

“…The punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”[9]

 

[1] Mark 1:15, NIV

[2] Isaiah 42:16, NIV: “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.”

[3] Romans 8:31-34: “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but handed him over for us all, how will he not also give us everything else along with him? Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones? It is God who acquits us. Who will condemn? It is Christ [Jesus] who died, rather, was raised, who also is at the right hand of God, who indeed intercedes for us.”

[4] Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV

[5] Mark 10: 17-27, NIV

[6] Matthew 19:19b, NIV

[7] Isaiah 40:31

[8] Mark 10: 17-27, In response to the young man’s question, Jesus tells him what he lacks, invites the young man to amend his life, and then to come and follow him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

[9] Isaiah 53:5b

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