Repentance Doesn’t Lead to Neutral

I’m reminded this morning that repentance is always good news. It is the reminder of Christ’s profound love for us, that God has accepted and forgiven otherwise unacceptable and unforgivable sinners. Jesus said to the church at Laodicea: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.”(Rev 3:19) Repentance is good news because it draws us away from unfaithful lovers to sweep us back into the arms of our one, true Love.

Love Doesn’t Lead us to Neutral

In repentance, God’s loving leads to our turning. Turning from sin is turning to Christ. It’s not a hollow confession in the neutral zone of a no man’s land, where we are left drifting, unguarded only to drift back into the same sinful fray all over again. Love doesn’t lead us into neutral. It doesn’t overlook sin and leave us stranded in no man’s land. It confronts, calling us to the better land. To not settle for slums when there is a paradise to be had. This is the love of Christ—reproof and discipline—pouring out upon us, the church.

Repentance Includes Resolve

So this morning, Lord, I receive your good news and I repent of wandering eyes and turn to fix my eyes on the beauty and glory of Christ. I repent of impatience with my children and turn to the great patience of the Father with me, his son, that I might extend an enduring love to my own children. I leave behind the false lovers of lust and self importance. I zealously repent this morning, turning to your open arms, unfailing love and never-ending importance. I refuse to fake repent, to enter the no man’s land of hollow confession and habitual sin. I will push into the promised land with zeal and flee the slums of sinful indifference. I cry out for the help of the Father to strengthen his helpless son. I resolve to so trust you that I live more dependently and obediently. And I do so, not despairingly but with hope…

Repentance Leads to Feasting

For your call of loving repentance comes with a promise: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the do0r, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Repentance is good news because, as I close the door on sin, I open the door to Christ. Notice that this is a call to the church. When we respond to his rap-a-tap-tap upon our hearts, he meets us, not with a disapproving frown, or impatient scolding but with a warm embrace, an embrace that moves us from slums to paradise, from lovers to one, true Love, from disobedience to obedience. He waits, lovingly to feast with us. He will dine with me and I will dine with him. True repentance leads to feasting, feasting with the King!