Primitive religion is not believed, it is danced!

Arthur Darby Nock

Earth's crammed with heaven,
And every common bush afire with God;
And only he who sees takes off his shoes;
The rest sit round it and pluck blackberries.

Elizabeth Browning

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Turn from, turn toward

Feeling sorry, acknowledging guilt, and prolonging regret may be components of the human condition, but they are not what Jesus means by repentance. Repentance is the response to grace that overcomes the past and opens out to a new future. Repentance distinguishes Christian life as one of struggle and conversion and pervades it, not with remorse, but with hope. The message of Jesus is not “Repent,” but “Repent for the Kingdom of God is near.”

John Shea, A Star at Its Rising: Advent Meditations



the word is thrown around careless,

like disposable containers littering the road


an empty beer can here

a McDonald’s wrapper there




there are those who love the sound of the word

or so it seems

and use it as a weapon

pointing it with deadly accuracy at the already wounded




we use it when convenient

we use it to control

we use it to shame

we avoid it

we wallow in it


this idea that some how we must recognize our “sinfulness”

feel the pain of our lost innocence,

understand the destructive forces at work in our world

and our own personal evil


and yet it seems that for many the process of repentance is incomplete

repentance, or metanoia, is a process of turning

it is indeed a matter of turning from


turning from things such as hate, and greed

turning from those thoughts, feelings,

words and behaviors that are destructive


we have to see the ways in which the original blessing has been lost

in which the divine image has been blurred

in us

in our country

in our world


and stop, and turn


but too often we stop here

which leaves us with repentance half-chewed,

stuck in our throats


we choke on our remorse, and regret

we struggle to breath the fresh air of grace



repent for

repent for the Kingdom of God is near



turn around

look behind you


see the glow of Sacred love rising over the ruins of Eden

know that in turning you not only turn from

you turn toward







you turn toward love

and an entirely new



No comments:

Post a Comment