Repentance as a response

Sunday recap.  We are continuing our study in Luke 15.  The most problematic "sins" in our lives are hidden by our denial.  It normally takes a person or some harsh circumstance to bring it to our attention.  Membership in a church is our way of admitting our inability to confront sin ourselves.  In membership we give others permission to gently help us respond to sin we are in denial of.  We respond in two ways.  We respond vertically by acknowledging how the sin is primarily a sin against God.  This helps us focus our repentance on the disease of sin itself.  Focusing on the consequences or shame will often make things worse by taking you deeper into self-centeredness.  Responding vertically gets us out of our self-centeredness thus allowing for a true horizontal response that takes complete moral responsibility without blame shifting or excuse-making at all. That said, the key to doing repentance is not so much in what the son did, but what the father didn't.  The son wanted to earn his way back into the family.  The father didn't allow for it.  Such kindness enables repentance. (Rom 2:4)