All shall turn from their evil ways and from the violence that is in their hands. Who knows? God may relent and change his mind; he may turn from his fierce anger, so that we do not perish.”
When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind about the calamity that he had said he would bring upon them; and he did not do it. –Jonah 3:8b-10
“When God saw what they did, how they turned from their evil ways, God changed his mind…” According to the Talmud, the source of Jewish law and religious authority, God created Repentance, Teshuva, or Return in Hebrew, before He created the physical universe—so, I would take it that He finds it to be rather important.
Note also Matthew 5:23-24 (NRSV) as to what should be done before taking Communion:
So when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift. –Matthew 5:23-24
Repent, be reconciled, and return to the Lord.
And from our Catechism:
Q. What is required of us at Baptism?
A. It is required that we renounce Satan, repent of our sins, and accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Q. What is required of us when we come to the Eucharist?
A. It is required that we should examine our lives, repent of our sins, and be in love and charity with all people.
Repent, or a form of the word, appears 53 times in our Book of Common Prayer. Why? Because it’s important.
Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, have mercy on us, all sinners.
JONAH 3:1-10; LUKE 11: 29-32; PSALM 51: 11-18