The Burr of Repentance

Sackcloth

I wore it around my neck for the morning. At first it was a reminder; then it was a distraction. At some point it became more and more uncomfortable. By noon I couldn’t take it anymore.

I’m talking about sackcloth. It’s what crazy prophets wore; it was the garment of repentance in Biblical times. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t matter what you are repenting of or for; if something you have thought, done, said, left undone makes it necessary for you to wear sackcloth, you won’t be wanting to think or do whatever it was that put the sackcloth around your neck.

We have two issues in our culture that ultimately cause us to fight with ourselves and each other:

First, we have been taught that we don’t need to repent of anything. We have rights and we are entitled to our feelings and we are free to think, do or say whatever we deem to be in our self-interest or well-being. When life means we never have to say we’re sorry (to use a slightly altered quote from Love Story), then we are a menace to everyone, including ourselves.

Second, because we are taught that we don’t have to be sorry for anything, we haven’t a clue as to how to repent. Self-reflection has completely given way to self-indulgence.

Not to be a “downer” … but is there anything you need to repent of today?

A blessed Tuesday.

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.