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This week we are going to look at a word that has been used so often within the history of Christianity. It has been used to create fear and has sometimes been expressed in a threatening way. You may have seen this word on signs or heard preachers saying you must do this...but what does it really mean and how did Jesus use the word?

The word is REPENT.

What do you think of when you hear this word - does it have positive or negative connections for you?

A lot of people hear this word and think it is about religious people telling other people they are bad and they have to change. But I believe repenting has a much deeper meaning for everyone and it is not about a guilt-trip and fear but rather God telling us we need to REBOOT our hearts and minds every now and again. 

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Luke 13

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Some people believe that God punishes people who sin by causing them to suffer. Here Jesus says that this is not true!! (have you ever thought this before? - I think some Christians still think this and it is wrong).

Jesus then goes on to talk about repenting and perishing. Lets change these words and read it again...

"Unless you change your hearts and thinking you will not know and understand God."

Jesus is using death as a metaphor to explain what life is like without God.


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In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: שוב shuv (to return) and נחם nicham (to feel sorrow). 

In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia),   'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, i.e a change of mind and heart.

So, to 'repent' is a bit like an MOT for your heart and mind...or like a computer reboot - where you get rid of all the rubbish you need to throw away and start over.

Do you think it is good for us to do this? If so how often should we 'reboot'?


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There are different ways to REBOOT yourself.

*Firstly you could THINK DEEPLY about difficult subjects. Maybe your opinions in the past have been based on popular opinion (what your friends think).

Put up the 'topics for debate' screen and arrange a thoughtful debate on these statements. The challenge is perhaps to present from the side that you initially disagree with. This was you could get a deeper understanding of the issue.

e.g if you think animal testing is wrong, try thinking of an argument where it may be acceptable.

p.s no one is forcing anyone to change their views, it is just a healthy way to understand them better.

*Secondly you can SEARCH yourself. Is there anything you know you want to change, anything you want to say sorry for?

Put up the 'Search yourself' screen and take some quiet time to think individually. Search your hearts and minds. 

To reboot a computer you press Ctrl, Alt and Del. Think about these words to help you decide what you need to control, alter and delete in your life. For example, perhaps you need to control your anger or delete your low self esteem.


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Heavenly Father,

Repentance takes courage. It takes self-confidence. It takes commitment.

These qualities can all be difficult to find when living gets tough.

And it is when the living gets tough that we can so easily stray away from you.

That is why we need your Spirit and the example of Jesus. So, with that support, we can get ourselves back on course, rebooting, turning around and facing in the right direction, walking towards your light.

We pray, therefore, for the strength of purpose to do just that.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Media Resources
IntroductionThe Bible BitThe Thinking BitThe Doing BitThey Praying Bit
Reboot
Luke 13

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."
Zoom OutIntroduction

This week we are going to look at a word that has been used so often within the history of Christianity. It has been used to create fear and has sometimes been expressed in a threatening way. You may have seen this word on signs or heard preachers saying you must do this...but what does it really mean and how did Jesus use the word?

The word is REPENT.

What do you think of when you hear this word - does it have positive or negative connections for you?

A lot of people hear this word and think it is about religious people telling other people they are bad and they have to change. But I believe repenting has a much deeper meaning for everyone and it is not about a guilt-trip and fear but rather God telling us we need to REBOOT our hearts and minds every now and again. 

Zoom OutThe Bible Bit

Luke 13

Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.

Jesus answered, "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them—do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish."

Some people believe that God punishes people who sin by causing them to suffer. Here Jesus says that this is not true!! (have you ever thought this before? - I think some Christians still think this and it is wrong).

Jesus then goes on to talk about repenting and perishing. Lets change these words and read it again...

"Unless you change your hearts and thinking you will not know and understand God."

Jesus is using death as a metaphor to explain what life is like without God.


Zoom OutThe Thinking Bit

In Biblical Hebrew, the idea of repentance is represented by two verbs: שוב shuv (to return) and נחם nicham (to feel sorrow). 

In the New Testament, the word translated as 'repentance' is the Greek word μετάνοια (metanoia),   'to think differently after'. Metanoia is therefore primarily an after-thought, different from the former thought; a change of mind accompanied by regret and change of conduct, i.e a change of mind and heart.

So, to 'repent' is a bit like an MOT for your heart and mind...or like a computer reboot - where you get rid of all the rubbish you need to throw away and start over.

Do you think it is good for us to do this? If so how often should we 'reboot'?


Zoom OutThe Doing Bit

There are different ways to REBOOT yourself.

*Firstly you could THINK DEEPLY about difficult subjects. Maybe your opinions in the past have been based on popular opinion (what your friends think).

Put up the 'topics for debate' screen and arrange a thoughtful debate on these statements. The challenge is perhaps to present from the side that you initially disagree with. This was you could get a deeper understanding of the issue.

e.g if you think animal testing is wrong, try thinking of an argument where it may be acceptable.

p.s no one is forcing anyone to change their views, it is just a healthy way to understand them better.

*Secondly you can SEARCH yourself. Is there anything you know you want to change, anything you want to say sorry for?

Put up the 'Search yourself' screen and take some quiet time to think individually. Search your hearts and minds. 

To reboot a computer you press Ctrl, Alt and Del. Think about these words to help you decide what you need to control, alter and delete in your life. For example, perhaps you need to control your anger or delete your low self esteem.


Zoom OutThe Praying Bit

Heavenly Father,

Repentance takes courage. It takes self-confidence. It takes commitment.

These qualities can all be difficult to find when living gets tough.

And it is when the living gets tough that we can so easily stray away from you.

That is why we need your Spirit and the example of Jesus. So, with that support, we can get ourselves back on course, rebooting, turning around and facing in the right direction, walking towards your light.

We pray, therefore, for the strength of purpose to do just that.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.