Isaiah 40:1-5,9-11; Psalm 85:9-14; 2 Peter 3:8-14; Mark 1:1-8
In his famous novel, “The Death of Ivan Ilyich,” Leo Tolstoy has given us a classic example of repentance. Ivan is dying a horrible death. The pain is unceasing throughout the day and night. Not only is it the agony of physical pain but also the torment of black despair that presses in on him. He feels as though he is inside a pitch dark sack of some kind and as the top of the sack is being closed on him he struggles to get out, but he cannot. Occasionally during this experience, it occurs to him that his life has not been what it ought to have been. But he dismisses these thoughts immediately and the pain goes on…
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