“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
This is the season of rest.
It is the season of repentance. It is the beginning of Lent.
For many of us, the word “repentance” seems foreign. It may conjure up images of groveling, shame, or scenes of a confessional.
But repentance in the Bible is rest. A turning around, an end to running away, or hiding. It’s stripping off a mask. It’s being real, or even “authentic” to borrow one of today’s over-used buzz words.
As Martin Luther said, “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said, ‘Repent,’ he intended that the entire life of believers should be repentance.”
Repentance isn’t a one time thing you do to “get saved.” It’s a process. It’s a lifestyle.
It’s not a picture of standing ashamed before a stern judge. The picture the Bible presents is that of the prodigal son returning and his father running to wrap him in arms of joy. The son no longer has to scrounge around, eeking out an existence alongside of pigs, but can rest in the lavish love of his father. In his father’s presence he finds the peace his soul was looking for all along.
Lent isn’t ultimately about depriving oneself or some sort of self-deprecation. It’s about the rest repentance brings while we wait for resurrection.