Over the last few days we’ve talked about the mercy and forgiveness of Christ and how on occasionally faithful Christians will object to this ease of the forgiveness offered by the church.
But it’s not just the “just” who will object, it is very common for those who have most need of confession to doubt it. These doubts come in two styles and lets address the 1st.
It’s just TOO easy. How is it possible that a simple visit to a priest can erase the wrongs of years. Because it is so easy it can lead to doubts.
This is actually an old fear, and it was answered thousands of years ago when Naaman the Syrian was told by the prophet Elisha to bathe in the Jordan river and have his leprosy cured.
2 Kings 5:10-12
The prophet sent him the message: “Go and wash seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will heal, and you will be clean.”
But Naaman went away angry, saying, “I thought that he would surely come out and stand there to invoke the LORD his God, and would move his hand over the spot, and thus cure the leprosy.
Are not the rivers of Damascus, the Abana and the Pharpar, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them and be cleansed?” With this, he turned about in anger and left.
That’s the trap of pride and it’s played with a different spin today. I don’t have to do this thing, however easy it is, and anyways why don’t I just ask God directly, I don’t need to go to the priest. Lucky for Naaman his servants talked sense to him
But his servants came up and reasoned with him. “My father,” they said, “if the prophet had told you to do something extraordinary, would you not have done it? All the more now, since he said to you, ‘Wash and be clean,’ should you do as he said.”2 Kings 5:13
Naaman was convinced to abandon his pride and take the easy step offered and was cured. May we do the same this Lent and happily take the easy route to forgiveness offered us without hesitation.