“The biblical meaning of “repent” is not primarily contrition but resolve. In the Hebrew Bible, to repent means primarily to return to God. Its metaphorical home is the exile. To repent means to return from exile, to reconnect with God, to walk the way in the wilderness that leads from Babylon to God.
In the New Testament, repentance continues to have the meaning it has in the Hebrew Bible. The gospel of and about Jesus sees repentance as following the way of Jesus…And repentance in the New Testament has an additional nuance of meaning. The Greek roots of the word combine to mean “go beyond the mind that you have.” Go beyond the mind that you have been given and have acquired. Go beyond the mind shaped by culture to the mind that you have “in Christ”.”
Marcus Borg, The Heart of Christianity
Let me repent and receive the good news.
How is this different from the usual view of repentance? Is it more meaningful for you? Where do you need “resolve”?
Repent! The Kingdom of heaven is at hand!
John the Baptist
The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate.”
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return to God, and God will have mercy on him; and God will abundantly pardon.
But go and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
You are the way you are because that’s the way you want to be. If you really wanted to be any different, you would be in the process of changing right now.
Honesty before God requires the most fundamental risk of faith we can take: the risk that God is good, that God does love us unconditionally. It is in taking this risk that we rediscover our dignity. To bring the truth of ourselves, just as we are, to God, just as God is, is the most dignified thing we can do in this life.