Repentance is good for the soul, or so the Lord teaches. Yet, we often resist. It is hard to admit our frailty. It is hard to sometimes see it. Like sour medicine, our hearts tend to resist surrendering our individual sovereignty to the sovereignty of God. So, the season of Lent proves a reminder of and exercise in repentance.
Serious business, repentance need not always be a somber act, but it is necessary each and every day. We are getting right in our relationship with God after all: a Lord who created us, a Savior who died for us, and Spirit who comforts us. We are asked to pay more attention to our relationships and a world entrusted to our care. God is love, and we should rejoice at the opportunity to become more loving. Repentance always seeks out forgiveness and reconciliation, and our hearts should rightfully celebrate.
And so, I join Teresa of Avila in praying, “From silly devotions and from sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us.” Instead, I invite you with a smile on my face to join us for our many life affirming (and yes, sometimes even fun) events this Lent. I encourage us all to seek out deeper worship, meaningful service opportunities, and other appropriate Lenten disciplines. As individuals and as a family of faith, we might come to better understand what it truly means to rejoice and be glad.
This piece was originally published in Messiah Lutheran Church and School’s monthly newsletter, The Messenger. You can view current and recent issues of The Messenger at: http://www.mlcas.org.
Photo in public domain: Balaska, J. (February 25, 2009) Ashes imposed on the forehead of a Christian on Ash Wednesday.
© 2011 The Rev. Louis Florio. All contents not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.