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Today Could Be THE Day
just to be alive
on this fresh morning
in this broken world.
I beg of you,

do not walk by
without pausing
to attend to this
rather ridiculous performance.

It could mean something.
It could mean everything.
It could be what Rilke meant, when he wrote:
You must change your life.

from Devotions by Mary Oliver

We often think of repentance as negative. It’s a correction, a sorrow for sin, a must-do penance – a punishment of sorts. Today, Mary Oliver joyfully encourages us to change – to consider repentance as a fresh start – a new day, a release, a possibility. As we consider our world and our current times, repentance and change are needed. We are all most definitely in what the revival preachers of my youth would call a “Come to Jesus moment”. This week we will also lift up and celebrate freedom, the rallying cry of our nation.  We are realizing that this freedom is not yet realized. There are shifts in thinking and action that need to be made evident so that equity and justice can flourish so that all of our neighbors can live free. As disciples of Jesus, let us embrace this moment and consider how the grace and gift of repentance could be our release and our freedom to live more fully as God’s beloved. 

It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want to do and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom.   Galatians 5:13-14 (The Message)

Amanda Atkin
Associate Minister of Faith Formation