John the Baptist said, ” I have baptized you with water: but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.” (Mark 1:8). John, the forerunner of Jesus, preached repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Jesus, however, completed the gospel of repentance. Only through Jesus Christ can we have complete repentance.
What is repentance? According to Jesus, it is a change of mind and a change of heart. Repentance is mental or a change of mind in the sense that the believer reasons like Christ. Christ reasons only by prayer, study of scripture, and dedicated church service. Do we follow his example in that respect? Repentance is also emotional or a change of heart. The believer must be passionate, revealing strong emotion. The key attribute is the admirable quality of empathy: identifying with the needs and concerns of others.
During the season of Advent, we should pray for good tidings, study scripture, support the Body of Christ, and have a missionary spirit of profound compassion.
(John Taylor is the pastor of Wingate UMC.)