The most joyful thing: Lent 4

Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God.  "The time has come!" he said.  "The kingdom of God is at hand.  Repent and believe the good news."  {Mark 1:14}

TO REPENT is to adopt God's viewpoint in place of your own.  Far from being sorrowful, repentance is the most joyful thing in the world, because when you have done it you have adopted the viewpoint of truth itself; you are in fellowship with God. 

{William Temple, 1881-1944}

goodness of god repentance graphic.jpg

Do you remember how Jesus said over and over again, "Repent"?  Repent: that is, evaluate the whole way you are living your life in light of this great fact: "The kingdom of God is at hand."
Now that is not a way of saying that the kingdom of heaven almost came but didn't quite make it---and now we're in some kind of divine parenthesis, that have to muddle through as best we can and wait for heaven after we die.  That's not what Jesus meant.

Imagine that you and I were walking along the street and I said to you, "Behold, the restaurant is near at hand. Let's eat!"  It's more like that.  The kingdom of heaven has been made available to you and me.  And God is right here, at hand: with us now.

{adapted from Richard Foster}