Hi Everyone, it’s MJ here again at the start of Advent this December 2021.
Thought I’d post earlier than later in this month since Advent is an important season and is worth reflecting upon at the beginning of December.
The greatest gift, as Advent has begun may actually surprise you because it doesn’t come wrapped under the tree. It’s the gift of Repentance. That’s why, the 1st Sunday of Advent starts 4 weeks before Christmas, November 28, 2021 this year.
Repentence. To turn around, to change one’s mind, to feel sorrow for sin. A complete turn around. To recognize and take full responsibility for my sinful actions. To stop moving my way, turn around, to express sorrow, regret and remorse for my actions, or lack of actions, whatever the sin may be and I move forward, God’s way. It’s important to get clear here on the first Sunday of Advent before the frenzy of Christmas Day.
Allen Hunt, an American Catholic author and speaker says this: “It’s important to get clear on what matters most and what matters least. That’s what repentance does. It brings clarity, self awareness and humility.” We have a tendency to turn away from God by the choices we make, we nudge God aside and put ourselves at the centre of the universe. That part of us that thinks we don’t need God. We put ourselves where God alone should be. That part of us that causes us to resist or reject what is right, even to reject God Himself.
Sometimes it’s our pride. We think so much of ourselves, that other people aren’t as significant as we are. We think about ourselves, we compare ourselves to other people and spiritual arrogance is probably the worst sin of all. Because instead of having God at the centre of our lives, we replace Him with self.
Or maybe you and I need to repent of anger, an uncontrollable emotion that gets away from us. Or maybe it’s lust, passions that are so uncontrollable that they govern our lives. You and I live in such a sex crazed culture, where pornography is mainstream and is a billion dollar global industry. The problem, says Allen Hunt, “isn’t so much society, as it is in the wayward human heart.”
Repent. To change course, starts with a simple decision. A decision to repent is to stop, to turn around, express remorse to God, to take responsibility for our sin and move forward, in God’s way. It’s a gift.
When asked what His message was, Jesus said “Repent.” Luke 5, He says, “I came not to call the righteous but to call sinners to Repentance.” Luke 13 says, “Unless you repent, you will perish.”
Repent. To stop, to turn around, to express sorrow to God and move forward in God’s way. The 1st Sunday of Advent is very clear. The Lord is coming. It’s time to get ready. Repent. Tell God you are sorry for the ways you have placed, anything or anyone or even yourself before Him in your life. Take time to look at your life. Take time to clean up your house and ask for forgiveness.
One way to do that is to do some things that humble you. To serve somebody who needs your help. To serve someone maybe you don’t even like. To serve. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux said this: What are the 4 keys to the Christian faith? “Humility, humility, humility, and humility.” He’s right.
Let me leave you with this final food for thought. Consider, taking some time to prepare yourselves for Christmas in Advent this year. To clean up your house. Right here, right now. Repentence. Welcome to Advent. It’s a beautiful gift.
Let me take this opportunity to wish all of you a peace filled Advent and a blessed Christmas season. Many warm wishes, MJ xo