A New Page

Does this allow us to have a different discussion on different pages?

For Example:

Christopher Harrison said in a recent sermon:

‘How on earth can we be expected to prepare spiritually when there is so much to do?’

‘We resolve to prepare our inner souls but somehow our best intentions are swamped by everything else we do or are involved in’.

‘We all recogonise this so we really don’t want people to preach about something as heavy as repentance’.

He went on to say, ‘that’s probably just how people felt who heard John the Baptist in the wilderness calling people to repent in preparation for the coming of the Messiah’. ‘They probably thought, ‘We don’t need this. It doesn’t apply to us. After all we don’t do anything seriously wrong’.

Christopher asked if repentance is seen as being a bit negative and then he went on to explain how repentance is more than just saying sorry. ‘It is a change of heart and mind, which we can achieve only by allowing God to reshape our lives’ he said.

Going into more detail, he said, ’saying’ sorry has got to be genuine, it is only one part of repentance . ‘Being’ sorry is another part. Even that, he said , is not enough.

Christopher said John told his hearers to ‘bear fruit in keeping with repentance’ and that this has several implications. It meant sharing things that were surplus to their requirements.

John’s other point, he said, was that no-one is excused from the need to repent. Labels or ancestry don’t exempt you from the need to repent.

So what is repentance? Christopher asked.

He expalined that the root meaning of the word is ‘a change of heart and mind’ and it comes from the Greek metanoia. It is a very strong word he said. ‘It is connected with the idea of conversion. It means an active turning away from those things which are not of God to those which are’.

Christopher suggested that one of the insights at the heart of the New Testament is the point that our own ability to this is limited.

‘We can make an effort of will but learning new patterns of behaviour is sometimes very difficult’ he said. ‘The New Testament is very clear that sometimes it’s only with the help of God’s grace that it’s all possible to fully repent’.

‘Sometimes’, Christopher said, ‘God’s grace is given as a result of a painful experience. sometime it’s how he shows us the way to repent’.

In conclusion Christopher said that repentance is not something to be taken lightly.


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