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4 Pentecost - Luke 10:1-11, 16-20

Throughout Luke and its sequel Acts, there is a heavy emphasis on repentance.

Throughout American Christianity, there is a heavy misunderstanding of what that is.

We too often reduce repentance into a personal, individual effort to turn over a new leaf, a

spiritualized new years resolution telling God we’ll try harder and do better next time.

Sometimes we even mean it; but that’s not repentance; at best, it is a symptom of it, at worst, a perversion.

Repentance is far more total than a change of behavior; it is a fundamental teardown and

reconstruction of the way we view everything.

Repentance is a paradigm shift, a complete re-orientation, a bulldozing of everything we know and believe, replaced with a whole new reality, a completely different story.

Martin Luther repented not when he realized that he was a sinner—he knew that only too well—but when he realized that God was not an angry judge but a loving father.

His whole life took on completely new meaning and color and freedom and direction and joy. All because God was not out to get him like a compliance officer but out to get him like a lifeguard in a tidal wave—going after him not to punish him but to rescue him.

The beautiful surprise of who God is changes who we are.

Who God is prompts the Blind Beggar blog to invite us as a church to repent.

(This means thinking collectively rather than individually, which I think for us qualifies

as repentance.)

Like many others, the author aims to shift the foundational mindset of congregations from

maintainence to mission:

A few examples:

1. In measuring its effectiveness, the maintenance congregation asks, How many visitors have we attracted? The missional congregation asks, How many members have we sent?