Sorry...

I've written repeatedly on this blog and elsewhere about the nature and theology of forgiveness, including my belief that we are wrong to make forgiveness conditional on the repentance of the one to be forgiven. If that person is to experience the full benefits of forgiveness and for there to be any real possibility of reconciliation then they must repent, but to make repentance a condition of the offer of forgiveness is something alien to the classic Christian doctrine.
But one thing I have not said in previous outings on this subject is that not only do we often have a deficient doctrine of forgiveness, we also have a deficient understanding of what repentance is. It is not, as the old joke puts it, asking forgiveness on a Sunday for what we have done on a Saturday and intend to do again on Monday. It must involve a real change of direction, a U-turn in our lives, which I am led to believe the Greek word "metanoia" infers.
It is certainly not simply saying "Sorry..." Having two children we are constantly having to emphasise that its not simply a matter of saying sorry when they are caught out in something they have done wrong, but really meaning it and showing it.
But it was the youngest of my children who reminded me again of this when we were listening to a Karine Polwart album in the car and he asked me to put on his favourite track (he is a child of discerning tastes)... "Sorry."
Here it is courtesy of You Tube (including a dreadful video), but do yourselves a favour and go out and buy the album, or better still go see her live.

When your time on the mountain is over
And you fall to the earth like a leaf
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't pay for this grief
For you may lay down your guilt on the altar
You may nail your remorse to a cross
But it's not enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't pay for this loss.
And if the blood on your hands turns to water
And the night in your soul turns to day
It won't be enough this time to say sorry
No, sorry won't wash it all away.
For you may lay down your guilt on the altar...
When you're through with the spells you've been spinning
When our hopes and our dreams have all died
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't turn back the tide.
For you may lay down your guilt on the altar...
And if you should desist from deceiving
And if you should confess to the crime
It won't be enough these days to say sorry
No, sorry won't save you this time.
For you may lay down your guilt on the altar...
Words & Music: Karine Polwart (Bay Songs Ltd 2007)

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Woman of no Distinction

Advent Candle Liturgy 5: Christmas

An Epistle To Our Elected Leaders