I have images of guilt, sorrow, and trying to ‘make up for something’ I’ve done wrong. Not a happy picture!
In actuality, the word ‘Repent’ comes from the Greek ‘Metanoia’, meaning ‘a change of mind, a reorientation, a fundamental transformation of outlook, of one’s vision of the world, and one’s place in it.’ That sounds more exciting!
When my son was ten, Carol took him, his buddy and his friend’s little brother ice-skating. The lady working in the warming house had hair cut in a bright blue mohawk and multiple piercings, including nose rings. Tim didn’t roll his eyes at her, but he came close. While he played hockey, Carol was skating with the friend’s brother. She slipped, fell backwards, banged her head on the ice, and broke her tail bone. She couldn’t drive home and the lady from the warming house insisted on driving her, then called a few hours later to see how she was doing. Tim had an awakening, and he never thought of ‘people who looked different’ the same way again.
This is a small example of ‘Metanoia,’ of ‘Repentance.’ Tim changed his perspective, and the way he thinks of others.
Lent is a great time to open our minds, to invite the Spirit of God to show us new things, and to give us new insights. We can grow personally, in awareness of ourselves, or we can learn new things about the world, and our involvement in it. We can commit ourselves to making healthier choices for the planet, for our bodies, and for the sake of others in need.
At the beginning of his ministry, Jesus proclaimed, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” (Matthew 4: 17). Let us open our minds and hearts to new insights, and new perspectives. Let us step into ‘Kingdom of God thinking,’ for it is very near!
Have a happy, growthful Lent! Repent! Turn around, and see from a new perspective!
By Pastor Kathy Itzin