Ash Wednesday: Start Repentin’

6 February 2008

I had a good post in mind for today. I could have sworn that somewhere in the readings for last week in the Daily Office (specifically, Hebrews) it said something to the effect that “he who knows Christ does not sin, but he who sins does not know Christ.”

What struck me was the unequivocal, your-either-with-God-or-against-God statement. I’ve spent a few minutes scanning and reading the middle chapters (7-11) which might contain this text, I’ve settled on this:

11:19Therefore, my friends, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, 20by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain (that is, through his flesh), 21and since we have a great priest over the house of God, 22let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who has promised is faithful. 24And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, 25not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

26For if we wilfully persist in sin after having received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27but a fearful prospect of judgement, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

It’s that last pair of verses which really struck me. But the preceding six verse are rather confidence and comforting.

I’ve placed this quote here because as I was thinking about Lent last week, this passage really struck me. To me this is one way of looking at what Lent is all about: in faith, we go forth confident in the power of God to help us be our best selves. The Christian life is the life of those who try to encourage each other in various ways. The great risk being a confidence that makes us think we no longer need conversion.

Conversion is a word we often use to denote a change in religious affiliation or religious tradition. Someone converts from Christianity to Islam, let’s say. But here I mean it in the sense of constantly resolving to do better, leave aside bad habits, and to take up good ones.

This quote, for me, will be the motto of my Lent.


One Response to “Ash Wednesday: Start Repentin’”

  1. Beth W Says:

    Ack. I overslept Ash Wednesday services. I’m off to bang-up start.

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