Monday, December 5, 2016

Monday December 5, 2016 Repent!

In those days John the Baptist came to the Judean wilderness and began preaching. His message was, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near. ”--Matthew 3:1-2 NLT 

Repent. A loaded word. Another trip to the dictionary yields this: to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to the amendment of one's life. Aha! So right there in the definition is a turn. John the Baptist spells out clearly what we are to turn away from: sin. Another loaded word. One working definition I have heard of sin is anything that separates us from God. That's simple and it makes sense does it not? Scripture tells us that God's eyes are too pure to look on evil; you cannot tolerate wrongdoing. Habakkuk 1:13. Moreover, your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 NIV. Holy God cannot be in the presence of sin. Sadly, we are by our nature sinful. But hear this good news: God who loves you infinitely has provided a way out. That way is THE WAY, the truth and the life: Jesus Christ. The very One we await in this Advent season. Though we wait to celebrate His birth and we wait for His return in glory, there is no reason to wait to accept His offer of redemption. As we learned last week, no one knows the hour of His coming therefore we want to be prepared.  Repent!

Merciful God, we are so amazed at your ceaseless love, and Your plan of salvation through Your Son our Lord, Jesus Christ, in whose name we now pray. Help us, O God,  to recognize the many ways we separate ourselves from that amazing love by our sins. Remind us, we pray, that Jesus has already paid the price for those sins so that we have only to turn from them and accept His sacrifice in order to be cleansed and made right with You. Thank You Lord! AMEN!


TG said...


Yesterday it dawned on me that there are parallels between this verse and the Matthew you cited last Thursday. All four gospels take account of John's proclamation in the wilderness with his wild honey (thank you, P. Jen); all four gospels account for Jesus' waking up the disciplines before he was handed over to the Pharisees. In both instances, too, we see our own unworthiness in receiving Christ's gift--in John the Baptist's example, which comes across as more abstract today, the crowd heard the promises their nation had waited for, despite their sinfulness.

The _Story of Jesus_ motion picture from the 1970s portrays John quite well, played by actor Michael York. He comes across less like a mountain man and more like the guy on the street corner in NYC, shouting all those things one does not want to hear on their way to Macy's or a Broadway show. During Advent, I need reminders that in addition to celebrating the birth of the Christ child, the direction I am going in might need to change

Tracy said...

Wow I really like that style of J the B cuz it would be so much to the point. Self reflection is among my favorite parts of the holidays cuz I surely need to TURN.