December: Forgiveness and Repentance

December: Forgiveness and Repentance


“ …Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.’” (Mark 1:14b-15)

Dear OCN Supporters,

“Rejoice” might be the word that springs to our mind when we think of Christ’s Nativity – the message brought to us by the angels. But Christ’s first message, as recorded in both Matthew and Mark, was “Repent!”

This month’s topic – Repentance and Forgiveness – is something that we Christians should be mindful of on a daily basis. However, during the Christmas season, it is especially easy to lose sight of these spiritual imperatives. In our focus on buying gifts, making travel plans, and deciding who to share our holiday with, we sometimes forget to offer Christ the gifts of our time, talent and treasure; to make travel plans to an extra service or soup kitchen; to share the holiday with Christ Himself.

At Christmas, we are offered not just a reminder about Christ uniting Himself with mankind by taking on human flesh. Rather, we are invited in the present moment to re-unite ourselves with God. How do we do that? By following Christ’s command to turn away from our sin and to forgive our fellow man.

Join us this month as we speak with a diverse group of guests, including Dr. Stephen Muse, Prof. Edith Humphrey and Fr. Steven Ritter. We’ll hear not only their personal thoughts as professionals, but also learn more about the Scriptural models offered on repentance and forgiveness, as well as practical tips on how to practice these two things in our everyday lives.

Thank you for making OCN a part of your Nativity season this year. I pray that God will continue to bless you and your family both during this season and in the upcoming year!

In Christ,

Anne Danckaert

About author

Anne Danckaert

Anne Danckaert is a graduate of Indiana University and Ball State University. She has worked at OCN since 2007 in a variety of positions, with her current title being Director of Programming. Anne converted to Orthodoxy in 2005 and attends St. Anna's Greek Orthodox Church in Flemington, NJ, with her husband and two children.