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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Bittersweet month but so much gratitude to my team at @onedayswages. January marks a major transition as 2 of our 3 full time staff move on to their next chapters.

@melissasarapack (2nd from left) has been with me for nearly 4 years - first as our Development Director and then our Communications Director. This was her 2nd stint with me as she was my Live Music & Art Director at @QCafe many years ago. Thank you, Cush, for your friendship and commitment. You embodied our values and it kept moving us forward.

@philipkeeton (far left) has been with me for nearly the entirety of ODW. That's a long time. We've had our shares of ups and downs but  he's one of a kind. He was my right hand person that provided great leadership for our scrappy team of staff, volunteers, and interns. PK: Brother, you're gonna be missed but so excited for your next season. I didn't say this enough: I appreciate you. Thank you. And I hate Alabama football.

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#Deeper #RootsMatter 41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church...

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