This Sunday we’re looking at the message John the Baptist proclaimed as the forerunner of the Messiah. And it’s all about repentance.
Repentance is hard for us. We don’t like facing our shortcomings and failures. We don’t like the waves of shame and guilt that arise. We don’t enjoy the pain of contrition. Repentance feels like death. But it’s the only way to life.
Repentance is the gateway through which God’s salvation comes. When we confess our sins, we find mercy. When we repent of our ways, we find grace to lead us on a new path. When we lose ourselves, we end up getting ourselves back. We die in order to live.
So while repentance might feel like death, it is the only way to life. The great danger to our souls is that we’ll resist repentance, and never know the salvation that God has for us. By avoiding repentance, we cut ourselves off from the life of God. Holding onto our pride will, it turns out, be our ruin. But God gives grace to the humble. God’s kindness leads us to repentance. Repentance is our friend.
A friend of mine once told me, “When pushed…fall.” She meant there’s no point of fighting the push of conviction. Fall into repentance. Collapse into sorrow. Humble yourself in contrition. For it is at our lowest that mercy meets us. It is when we’re helpless that God’s grace lifts us up. And His glory is for those who know they have nothing to their name.
So, let’s embrace repentance. For then we will realize we are loved, more than we know!