Child, Your Sins Are Forgiven


As we continue our journey through Great Lent the scripture for the week, taken from the Gospel of St. Mark, remind us of faith and how we need to have faith in our lives.  The story is about a man who is paralyzed, and his friends bring him to see Jesus in a most unusual way.

Jesus has entered the fishing village of Capernaum and had gone to a friend’s house.  Word had spread that He was there, and so many people came and filled the house and spilled out into the street to hear Him speak.  The crowd was so dense that people were having a hard time moving around.  It was into this crowd that the paralyzed man was brought.

His friends could not get him through so they decided to go up on the roof and gain access to Jesus in this way.  The house would have had a flat roof that was used by the residents as a place to sit in evening when the temperatures cooled off so there would have been outside access.  The roof may have been covered in grass that would have helped to keep the house cool in the hot Palestinian sun.

The men carried their friend, laying on his bed, up to the roof and dug a hole between the rafters and lowered their friend down to Jesus.  I can only imagine the commotion this must have stirred not only with those inside the house but the homeowner himself.  Imagine someone breaking a hole in your roof!

Scripture tells us that Jesus was moved by the faith of the man’s friends.  Their faith that drove them to do this, to get their friend to Jesus not matter what the cost.  He was so moved by their faith that He tells the man that his sins are forgiven.  Not the faith of the man himself but the faith of his friends is what Jesus is telling him.  They did not let something like, not being able to get there, stop them from doing what they felt they had too.  The faith, and drive to help their friend, was so great that there was no obstacle would stop them.

This was an immense task that must have taken some planning.  When they left the house did they bring shovels and rope with them or did they have to return to get the items necessary to remove the roof?  Face with the challenge they put their heads together to come up with a solution to the problem, and that was to get their friend the help he needed.

It has been said “it takes a village” and this is true in our spiritual life.  It is no secret that I do not believe in “I’m spiritual but not religious” nonsense that the world wants us to believe.  Okay, maybe you have an issue with organized religion, fine, but we cannot do this alone we need the loving support of a community to help us through, and if necessary, break open the roof for us.

How many times have we turned back because we thought the challenge was too great?  Perhaps we are paralyzed with the fear of judgment we might face doing to our lack of faith or our perceived sinfulness. Perhaps we do not feel that God could love us because we are sinners, and our sins are so great that God would never be able to forgive us.  Are you paralyzed with doubt and despair?  Find some friend who would be willing to remove the roof to help you.

There is no sin that is so large that God will not forgive.  What I hope the world understands is that God loves everyone, I know it sounds simple, but it true, God truly loves each one of us for who we are and where we are.  The problem is we don’t believe that.

We need to take that first step and return to Him.  We need to take that first step and reach out our hand to Him and take His outstretched hand in ours and ask Him to show us the way.  There is no better time than right now to do that, and if you need someone to break open the roof for you, give me a call and I will do it!

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