Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Advent XI

Repentance, the real kind called for by John the Baptist, means radical change.  There is nothing easy about it.  It goes way beyond feeling regret, or being sorry, or suffering with uncomfortable consequences.  Confession may open the door to repentance, but if nothing follows it which speaks of a lifestyle change, it is just mere words.  And mere words, not even the churchy religious sounding words are enough if left to stand alone.  Too many have been the times when we have asked God to forgive us knowing that nothing was going to be any different tomorrow if faced with the same choice of right or wrong.  Such does not speak of repentance.  Instead, it describes someone who must think God is a gullible fool. 
Only when confession is followed by a lived out lifestyle choice which reflects real change can we begin to talk about repentance.  Being sorry for a bad choice is a good thing only when we have no intention of doing it again.  For John the Baptist, repentance was serious business.   The reason for it was to make ready for the One sent from the Father.  Perhaps, we fail to grasp that side of what John was preaching.  The reason for the change had to do with being in the presence of the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world. 

If Advent is about anything, it is about making ourselves ready for the One who is coming.  We live out our days always sure that tomorrow is going to come with all the things of today when in reality there will come a day named tomorrow which will cause us to see our whole existence in light of the expectations of God.  And on that day of His coming,  or that day of our death, His expectations will be the only thing which really matters.  John the Baptist understood that we can never stand on that day without true repentance.   What was true then is true now.  Repentance is urgent business. 

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