Day 6 - Advent Reflection - Turn

We don’t think much about repenting. The word has a weight and implication of cost and sacrifice. Old fashioned tent revival meetings used to include a “mourners’ bench,” a place up front where those, so moved by the preacher and awareness of their sin, would cry, wail, and fling themselves down before the gathered crowd, groveling for mercy and forgiveness. I fear, repent has a long-earned reputation. However, at its Hebrew root, repent means only to turn or return. Jesus doesn’t ask for grave displays of remorse or painful acts of atonement. When Jesus calls Levi, the tax collector, to follow him, he doesn’t insist that he first beg to earn the call. Jesus takes us where we are, only asking that we turn our lives toward him.

I suppose we come by this naturally as there is so much in the world that we must earn. We earn degrees, salaries, awards, and a host of other things. We want to live our life perfecting ourselves, but the Christian journey doesn’t involve anything you can earn. It only asks that you return to the God of Love.

Tomorrow is Day seven, and we are invited to rest. In rest, however, I will not offer one of these reflections. Tomorrow, I invite you to take an hour, perhaps turn your phone onto airplane mode and do something that feels restful. Take a nap, read a chapter of a book you keep intending on picking up. Take a meandering walk only to listen to the leaves and birds. Do something that recharges you.

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