iab-728x90

The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

iab-728x90

Communal repentance

Dying, rising with Christ no heroic individual quest

My father was raised in a small town in South Dakota where the railroad tracks came to an end. A whistle blew when a train arrived and men came to the railroad yard to unhook the engine from the cars and move it onto a large round platform. They inserted long poles into the platform and worked together to turn the engine so it could travel in the right direction. I think often of their communal act of turning and have pondered what we might learn from it.

What does it mean to be a church whose life is a repentant dying and rising with Jesus Christ? What does it mean in the wider public life of our nation?

The Lutheran tradition originated with a call to repentance. The 95 Theses, which Martin Luther composed nearly 500 years ago, begin: “When our Lord and Master Jesus Christ said ‘Repent’ (Matthew 4:17) he willed the entire life of believers to be one of repentance.” I am convinced this repentance must be a lived reality in the entirety of our relationships with others. To be so, it must include our communal relationships in public life as well as those in private life.


The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.

text size:

this page: email | print

iab-728x90
December issue

DECEMBER issue:

Advent: Waiting together

More...