John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of or repentance for the forgiveness of sins. — Mark 1:4
…and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near, repent, and believe in the good news. — Mark 1:15
A friend recently pointed out to me that in both Mark and Matthew the perpetual message from John the Baptist was repentance, and that Jesus’s first message after leaving the wilderness was also “repent.”
Now when I use the word “repent” people cringe. The word “repent” makes us feel uncomfortable. The greek word for repent is metanoia, but boy if you want to get into a deep theological discussion about whether that means a change of heart versus change of mind and whether we must first repent to come to Jesus click on this link http://loveintruth.com/repentance. For me I’ll just stick to the plain old fashion meaning of repent — to change.
We must change, which is what we all think about when New Year’s approaches. We ask how can I change for the better, what can I do differently, how can I improve the quality of my life and the lives of others?
I will leave the theological discussion to others, but as I consider the changes I need to make in the coming year, I need to remember to not just consider the personal, and the material. First I must “repent and believe in the good news.”