Acts 2:14a, 36-41 (NRSV)
Verse 14But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, "Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Verse 36Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Verse 37Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, "Brothers, what should we do?" Verse 38Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Verse 39For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him." Verse 40And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, "Save yourselves from this corrupt generation." Verse 41So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.
Many of us have made and broken a New Year’s resolution. A resolution expresses a desire to change some aspect of your life—but losing a few pounds, a new exercise routine, or getting more sleep are superficial changes. I have heard people say they express regret for an inappropriate action, but then no real change occurs. To repent or say you are sorry without real change is as empty as a broken resolution. To repent is a commitment to examine your motivations and actions each and every day. Did I speak with the Lord today? Did I treat myself with love and respect? Did I treat my friends, family, and my neighbors with love and respect? Every morning when you splash water on your face, remember your baptism, remember the gift of grace you have been given, and remember to show the love of God in all your actions.
Lord God, guide me in all I do, for I rejoice in the gift of forgiveness you have bestowed upon me in the waters of baptism. May everything I do each and every day be a reflection of the love you have for me and for your creation. Amen.