Repentance is turning around toward God. I’ve often heard people say, “But you have to repent.” OK. However, that can border on making repentance something I have to do to receive forgiveness. Thus, turning toward God becomes my work, my effort, that then earns forgiveness, wiping out the need for forgiveness.
I’ve gotten in deeper than I first intended. Back to my original thought.
What leads to repentance? The Prayer of the Day for this Sunday is helpful.
It begins “O God, your almighty power.” Weak, puny me is in big trouble.”
However, the prayer continues, “Your almighty power is made known chiefly in showing mercy.” Good news. Such gospel leads to a request. “Grant us the fullness of Your grace that we may be called to repentance.” In the light of God’s almighty power chiefly used for mercy, we ask for his gift of turning us toward God. In Jesus Christ God has already turned toward us so that as we come to God, in confidence of bucketsful of mercy and grace poured on us.
The goal is that we might “be partakers of Your heavenly treasures.” With those heavenly treasures waiting for us, who would be foolish enough to turn away from God? Yes, and all that mercy, grace and heavenly treasures comes, “through Your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now forever.”
In Christ we can partake in the heavenly treasure of life now and forever. The cemetery is not the last stop.