Metanoia: February 23, 2018

Ezekiel 18:21–28
Matthew 5:20–26
Psalm 130

“If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness.” Psalm 130:3-4

Lent is a time for us as Christians to spend time in prayer, reflection and study as we prepare for Holy Week when we commemorate the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus. Our reading today reminds us that we sin and really it is because of Jesus’ sacrifice that we can experience the forgiveness of our sins.

In the confession portion of the service each Sunday, we confess our sins thinking of “what we have done and… what we have left undone… We are truly sorry and we humbly repent.” The Eerdmans Bible Dictionary defines repentance as “a complete change of orientation involving a judgment upon the past and a deliberate redirection for the future.”

This past week, I learned of the passing of the daughter of a couple who used to be great friends years ago but now the relationship is fractured. This has given me the opportunity to think of what I could have done to make a difference. Maybe this horrific loss is an opportunity to start to repair the relationship by reaching out… sending a thoughtful card at this very difficult time…starting the conversation… “a deliberate redirection for the future”.

“By what we have left undone” means that I need to reflect and focus on being in tune with God so that I can hear his prompts to reach out to others. If I am so selfish to be caught up with my own wishes, I will not hear when God prompts me to visit someone, write a card, or give an encouraging word.

Lord, help me to listen for and then follow your gentle prompts. Thank you for your forgiveness when I do not measure up. Amen.
-Marilyn Allen