Glad to be back with you this week after not blogging during Holy Week. Thanks to all who made Easter Sunday a meaningful service and a memorable experience for us all.
We follow Easter Sunday with a passage that speaks to all of us--Doubting Thomas, John 20:19-31. I guess I should say from the beginning that Thomas gets a bad rap. We know him as the disciple who doubts; that is only part of the story. Thomas was a committed follower of Christ who was a leader of the Twelve, and one who simply wanted to get to the bottom of things. When he is confronted with the incredible story that Jesus had appeared to the others in the Upper Room while he was away, he says, "I will not believe it until I touch the nail prints and put my hand in his side." You see, Thomas thought the resurrection was too good to be true and he wanted proof that it happened before he believed it.
This is where Thomas' reputation sticks to him for the rest of eternity; he was the one who doubted the resurrection of Christ. With that said, however, I ask you pointedly, would you have believed it? After watching your Savior and Lord die, and after seeing his body placed in the grave, would you have believed He would have rose again? I think we all would like to say that we would believe, but truth be known, we would be more like Thomas than we care to admit.
Furthermore, if I am completely honest, I see where Thomas comes from simply because I am a doubting disciple too. In the midst of the chaos of the world, I tell you I have doubted God's grace, and His very existence, more than once in my life. And that brings me to the essence of the sermon for Sunday...can faith and doubt coexist? Is there a place for doubt in the church, even among the "faithful?"
I believe doubt is a very real aspect of our lives and it is often a catalyst to a deeper faith. So if you find yourself wondering about what God is doing in the world or even if God exists at all, take heart...one of Jesus' on disciples did as well. The best news I have about the text is this: though Thomas doubted initially, Thomas' confession of Christ at the conclusion of our scripture stands as the litmus test for our faith today: "My Lord and My God!" May we all confess Jesus with our lips and with our works as we prepare our hearts for worship Sunday.
Thanks for reading as always,
Baseball season has started and the Braves are not doing too well (2-4). I think they will be fine and I expect them to make the playoffs as a wild card team. That is, if they can hit a little better than what they are doing now.
I am sure by now you have heard the story of Bobby Petrino who was the head football coach at Arkansas. If not, just type in his name to any search engine and you will be greatly disturbed by what you find there. I do not want to pile on the man, but I hope all of us take a lesson from his misdeeds. He allowed hubris to overtake his rational mind, and he is paying the steepest price for it. May we never get so big and so bold that we have to pay a price like that.