|February 24, 2015
Lent seems to be a time when we drag out from the ashes some pretty ominous words, like: sin, penance, repentance, self denial, atonement. It is true that we are to "come clean" and be honest with ourselves about life; but it has also has been labeled a pretty negative time to list all our grievous short comings, sins and mistakes, and in general to realize how bad we are.
You know Jesus did not spend a lot of time telling folks how bad they were. On occasion he really let into a few folks and certainly got angry with the way things were; but 99% of time the first words out of his mouth were " you are forgiven". Guilt trips were not Jesus' thing. He told folks that God had an almost unbelievable compassion and love for them and when you realize this and begin to live like this, everything changes. You feel a lot different about your self. You act a lot differently towards others. Your life takes an interesting turn.
I love what Frederick Buechner says about the lenten theme of repentance: " To repent is to come to your senses. It is not so much something you do as something that happens. True repentance spends less time looking at the past and saying "I'm sorry, than to the future and saying "Wow!"