Thursday, March 21, 2019
We cannot talk about acceptance without talking about our need to accept responsibility for our own sins, for the ways we have hurt others and God. As humans, we are experts at the “blame game,” pointing the finger at those around us, rather than acknowledging our own missteps. In fact, we are so good at it that sometimes, we even fool ourselves! We totally lose sight our own sins and instead focus on the mistakes of others.
Jesus speaks to his disciples about this very thing, saying, “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the log in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
The Lenten season is a season of repentance. Repentance means “turning” or “returning.” To repent is to confess our sins, to apologize to God and the people we have hurt, but it’s more than that. To repent is to turn away from those sins, to turn back to God and to others. It’s a total life reorientation and it means fully relying on the Holy Spirit to continually change and renew our hearts while we work for reconciliation with those we have harmed.
Think back over the past few weeks. What words or actions might you need to accept responsibility for? What might you need to confess? Who might you need to reconcile with and what steps might you take to do so? This is your invitation to begin taking those steps, for it is in this cleansing work of repenting, of turning back to God that our hearts are prepared for the joy of Easter.