Thursday, December 10, 2015

Advent XII

Repentance is a radical thing because it mean accountability and being personal responsible for messing up and both cut against the grain of human nature.  When confronted by God in the Garden, Adam said, "the woman made me do it,"  and the woman said, "the devil made me do it."  Not much accountability being modeled in that early encounter, but then what we do see is the stuff of which human nature is made. No one likes to say, "It's my fault.  I messed up.  I am wrong."  And so, in the story of beginnings, we see something of the issue that is at the core of this repentance business.

There can be no repentance without being accountable for our own actions and accepting personal responsibility for them as well.  It is strange that we have such a problem with this in our relationship with God.  There is nothing we say, He does not hear.  There is nothing we do, He does not see.  There is no motive expressed by actions that He does not understand.  As the Word reminds us, He knows us better than we know ourselves.  Surely, none of us really thinks we can trick God, or pull the wool over His eyes, or put up some fa├žade through which He cannot see!

What only makes sense is honesty before the Holy One who knows us so completely.  To have a repentant heart is to be honest with God about who we are as well as our real intentions for the future He is holding out to us.  What seems like such a logical thing for us to do somehow becomes such a frightening possibility.  But, in the long run, it is the only thing which really makes any sense.  It is in actuality the only way forward out of the mess we make of our lives. 

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