Since through the Blood of Jesus
we have confidence of entrance into the sanctuary by the new and living way he opened for us through the veil, that is, his flesh, and since we have "a great priest over the house of God," let us approach with a sincere heart and in absolute trust, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water.
Our Hebrew Author speaks of our confidence, sincerity and absolute trust. With these assets we approach the sanctuary. The opposite attitudes might be suspicion, wariness and hesitation.
To get a better understanding of the Author's invitation, I ask myself, "How do I approach an unfamiliar situation?" I was recently asked to read some of my poetry to four young men. I had met the fellows recently, in social and informal situations, but was not yet sure of their names. I knew they are Catholic and have some interest in entering religious life. I knew nothing of their education or interests, their families or careers.
So I approached this gathering with some hesitation. Reading poems, one's own or the work of published poets, can be pretty personal. If I presume to call my own writing poetry, it's because the rhymes generally work and the meter is dependable. There are experts who would dismiss it as doggerel.
But the situation called for "confidence, sincerity and absolute trust." True, I might rush through the presentation, garbling the words and their meanings, blushing with embarrassment, and mumbling with hesitation. But that would do no one any good; it'd be a waste of time. And so, after a few preliminary apologies and unnecessary explanations, I threw myself into the reading. The gentle men did not rise up as one in songs of praise, but neither were they unkind. They made some appreciative remarks and we got through the evening.
What are the long term effects? Who knows? Who cares? Come back in twenty years and we may discover a 21st century John Donne discovered his vocation that evening. Or not. That's in God's hands.
Saint Paul urged his Colossian disciples,
"...whatever you do, in word or in deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." and
"Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others,"
Because God is a man we can approach God as we approach others, with "confidence, sincerity and absolute trust." The manner we present to others is, in fact, our presentation to God. No one should suppose he has a compartmentalized, special relationship with God that is warm, comfy and sweet; and unlike that which he addresses to others. Rather, the same Spirit that ushers us into God's presence reveals our confidence, sincerity and absolute trust to others.