Reading: Matthew 4: 12-23
Isaiah declared “a light has dawned” in a prophecy he wrote hundreds of years before Jesus lived. It has been read and looked for ever since. Matthew proclaims the prophecy fulfilled in the person of Jesus Christ. The light of Christ that began to shine about two thousand years ago continues to shine to this day and will shine forever. The light of Christ dispels darkness, reveals our sins, and guides our way. The light also brings warmth and love to our days and healing and hope to our hearts.
Jesus declared, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near”. In the light there can be no darkness, so we must repent. The kingdom is here, so we must repent , we must change our sinful ways, we must walk as a child of the light.
To repent can be difficult. To repent can be hard. To repent can be work. When we choose to repent, we can be in for a long battle. Part of repentance means looking deep within ourselves and truly seeing who we are. Part is also learning to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit that brings conviction when we are tempted and when we sin. Part of repentance is being in the Word, so we fully understand what the call to be a Christian entails and expects of us. We are blessed when we repent. The blessings of repentance are a deepening relationship with Jesus Christ and a better version of ourselves. When we repent and change our ways, we are being transformed and are becoming more like Christ.
Christ calls us to repentance, but He does not stop there. His call is also an invitation to walk with Him. He calls us to repent of our greed, our lust, our judging… and offers us peace, contentment, joy through our relationship with Him. The great healer will take our greed and replace it with generosity. Our lust will be overcome with love of God and love of neighbor. Jesus will transform our need to judge into a need to offer understanding, compassion, and justice. It does not stop with these few things. Jesus desires to transform all of us to be just like all of Him.
This day, may we search within and repent of all that is dark, seeking to walk fully in the light of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.