Now, therefore, says the LORD,
Turn to Me with all your heart,
With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.
So rend your heart,
and not your garments;
Return to the LORD your God,
For He is gracious and merciful,
Slow to anger, and of great kindness;
And He relents from doing harm.
Today marks the beginning of Lent. Though we spent most of our lives in the kind of protestant churches that don't recognize a yearly liturgical calendar, which is fine, we also have grown to see that when God meets us He does so in space and time. And knowing how humans need tangible reminders of truth (such as the feasts of the OT worship), it helps our hearts to purposefully remember the Incarnation for the Advent month before Christmas, and the Crucifixion and Resurrection for the 40 day-Lenten fast before Easter.
Repentance, in Scripture, is an invitation. It is God inviting us to come in, to sit down to supper, to listen and bask in Presence. To turn aside from evil, from fear, from self-centered rat-wheel exhaustion, and turn towards the only relationship that can satisfy our hearts.
That turning can feel painful at first, prying our fingers off the little hand-holds on the climbing wall that we think are keeping us aloft. That rending can feel frightening, until we swing out in the freedom of the harness and find that Jesus is doing the belaying.
Here is a link to the excellent Biola project, that combines music, art, Scripture, and a meditation for each day. Join us in the journey. Let's pray for each other, because true repentance requires the clarity of the Spirit at work in our hearts. Pray we would hear Jesus' invitation, and find His kindness.