Isaiah 30: 15 “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength….”
Repentance, in the original Greek the word metanoia, means “to change one’s mind.” Following spiritual transformation, repentance is the action of changing how one lives because one’s heart has been converted.
Repentance as a spiritual practice of Lent invites us to reflect on what has broken our heart, to consider the ways we’ve been complicit in the systems that perpetuate the pain, and to determine to participate in change.
If we are at all attuned, there are many things to break our hearts these days. As we reflect particularly on the reality of LGBTQ+ people in the church, one doesn’t have to look very hard to read about suicides, mental health challenges, the trauma of conversion therapy survivors, breakdowns in family relationships, or queer people being expelled from church leadership.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that there is deep hope and strength in choosing the narrow path of repentance. Changing our mind and engaging in the work of change just might save us from a sense of despair or hopelessness.
- How have you understood the concept of repentance?
- What are some key experiences of repentance, changing your mind, that have impacted your life?
- As you consider the matter of LGBTQ+ affirmation in the church, what areas would you identify as needing repentance?
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