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Nobody's Perfect

**The time has come ... repent!** (Mark 1:15).
Genesis 9:8-15; Psalms 25:4-9; I Peter 3:18-22; Mark 1:12-15

Sermon Topic Repentance

Sermon Week First Sunday of Lent Cycle B

Scripture Summary Mark 1:15


At a large University graduation exercise, the University President rose to address the graduates and confer the degrees. He began by explaining the meaning of the traditional Latin phrases used ...

If a student graduates "Cum Laude," it means "With Honors." If a student graduates "Magna Cum Laude" it means "With High Honors." If a student graduates "Summa Cum Laude" it means "With Supreme Honors."

Then he said, "There's a new honor I plan to use in the future to be called "Magna Cum Pellidentium." It means, "By the skin of your teeth."1

In the Lenten Season which will soon begin, the call to repentance is emphasized. It is a time to take stock of what we've been doing with our lives. It is a time to evaluate spiritual progress. And, in so doing, it becomes a time to acknowledge that, in terms of our life in the "Divinely Created School of Learning How To Love," we have yet to graduate with honors. The call to repentance means that we are not on the level of a Summa Cum Laude, or a Magna Cum Laude, or even a Cum Laude. Rather, we fall into the Magna Cum Pellidentium category. We're living up to our Christian discipleship "by the skin of our teeth."

Although we may be a little fuzzy on the true meaning of repentance, nevertheless we can be sure that it involves much more than making a few minor adjustments in our lives ...

Repentance penetrates the crusts of piety we wrap around ourselves to keep us from taking it seriously.

Repentance reaches deep down in the soul and turns life upside-down for us and right-side-up for God.

Repentance reverses our priorities, upsets our accustomed sense of values, turns our pockets inside-out.

Repentance releases us from the shackles of our systems of security and hangs us on the thin thread we call the "Will of God."2

For many of us, "repentance" is a word that belongs to yesterday. It's one of those slippery words. We hear the word and we speak the word without attaching any real meaning for our lives.

For some, there is a vague understanding [...]

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