Called to Life and Light (3)

Mark summarises this part of Jesus’ message as “Repent, and believe in the good news.” The good things of the Kingdom are accessed through repentance and belief (in the good news). Repentance and faith. Here again, interpretation is necessary before this strategy can make any sense to us today. We have all heard calls to repentance which made us want to run very fast in the opposite direction.

Here too, often envisaged as a single action in response to hearing the Gospel or feeling a sense of contrition. But the more we look at what repentance means within the context of peoples’ lives, the more we see it as a process.

Connects a person to their past. Provides context to reflect on, express and explore what they have been and where they have come from. Affirmation that they have generally done their best according to the information and insight they had at the time. Opportunity to acknowledge that even so, fell short of God’s love, and there were times when they said and did things they now regret, now recognise as mistakes, wrong turnings, sins, cruelties.

Leads into an honest awareness of the complexity of who we are here & now - holistic - body, heart, mind, will, spirit - and an honest acknowledgement of who we are and where we are (good and bad, individual & social, based on self-awareness)

Need to express “where we are” in a language which connects us to God.

In the present moment.

What kind of God meets us? faithful, compassionate, gracious. All sorts of reasons why people hesitate to open themselves to God. Shy away from it. Resist it and deny it. Refuse it.

Part of “where we have come from” is “We have come from God, who loves us.” further, “We have come from God, who intends us for abundant life.” All sorts of reasons why people clutch at, do not claim, do not deserve abundance. Shy away from it. Resist it and deny it. Refuse it.

Self awareness.

Need to be examined, expressed, explored

over a short timescale or a long one,

we offer them to God, know that they are received

a complete turnaround in thought, word and deed; a transformation in direction, purpose, aims, allegiance, understanding, attitude and behaviour

Changes encourage and equip us to move on.

Take a step forward.    

acknowledge the future

Vision of where we are going, what God wants for us.  

No evidence that the future will be any different. Acting ahead of the evidence (Expression of faith)

needs to motivate us and equip us to face & handle what lies ahead

Sustain us in amended form of life. take us towards all that God longed to give us - as a step towards the realisation of the personal dream of abundance, as part of realisation of abundant life for all

prayers/ acts of confession / understanding of sin and the amendment of life lack:

framework for adequate discernment.

narrow definition of personal sin

reinforce the tendency of people to think meanly of ourselves and assume that God thinks meanly of us, too.  

trap them in cycle of penitence, false humility

Far from encouraging, actually debilitates.

Weakens, rather than strengthens us for the road.

lead nowhere

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