Eugene Cho

‘repent’ – one of the most beautiful words of the christian faith

Perhaps like some of you, I’ve developed a skewed perspective and meaning of the word ‘repent.’

And perhaps this an appropriate post in light of the coming rapture – aka – the end of the world as we know it.

When I’ve heard it used by preachers, teachers, and leaders, it was often associated with sin, death, hell, shame, punishment, and ultimately, an angry God.

It’s not that I have problems with the image of an angry God. It’s clear that there are images and stories that depict God’s anger and wrath but enveloping the image of God’s wrath are the bookends of God’s creative beauty and God’s redemptive glory.

This is why I love the word ‘repent’.

It was never intended to simply convey sin, wrongdoing, shame, or judgement – in isolation – but rather, to convey that God has a better way…a God of love, mercy, and compassion. It is one of the most beautiful and profound words of the Christian faith because no matter what we have done; No matter what situation; No matter what painful and hopeless circumstance…God always has a better way for us. God extends grace to us. God extends Himself to us.

When we ‘repent’ and turn away from certain things, we turn:

  • Not to emptiness
  • Not to void.
  • Not to nebulous concepts and theories.
  • Not to confusion.

We turn to the ways of God.

So beautiful.

Take 2 minutes to watch the video above.

So, I say to all of us:

Repent…Embrace grace.

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9 Responses

  1. Garrett S. says:

    Such a good word!

    For so long, repent has been a word associated with a kind of shame. And like you pointed out, there is a part of that, that rings true. I sin and there should be at least some regret (I’d be more concerned if there wasn’t). However, I had always thought that repentance meant to ask forgiveness up until a month ago when I was studying Hebrews.

    It’s so much deeper and every bit as wonderful as you describe it! Repentance is the event that happens in the heart and mind that leads to righteousness. To the things of God!

    I love the word repentance! So good! Thanks for reminding me!

  2. Kim says:

    Awesome post. Thanks!

  3. Chae says:

    And to simply put it… repentance is loving God and not loving sin.

  4. JJ says:

    Thank you for this, Pastor. I really needed to read and receive this today.

  5. Sejin says:

    It sure seems like the Greek word for repent, “Metanoeo” was spoken in the loving, kind tone that you mentioned.

  6. jchenwa says:

    I like the ‘re’ in repent,

  7. Turning to the despair of the great void is no repentance at all, but rather completes our turn away from God’s reality and into the very Abyss.

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One Day’s Wages

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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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