Good Friday to You,
In one word, how would you like to be remembered? Think, ______ + insert your name. Loving Lauren. Courageous Carl. Spiritual Seth. Caring Corrine. I’ll go with Integritous Michael. Hey, if I’m not gonna match the first letters, I might as well make up a word…and I do strongly value integrity.
So…how does Doubting Thomas sound?
I’ll tell you this, “Doubting Michael” does NOT have a nice ring to it! I know, I know, Thomas did “doubt.” He was absent for Jesus’ first resurrection appearance to the Apostles and then declared the only way he was going to believe Jesus was indeed alive would be for him to actually see and touch the holes left by the spikes and the sword.
Do you blame him?
The last time he saw Jesus there blood was pouring out of those holes…and then Jesus died!!! Anything other than a multi-pierced-bodied Jesus would be an imposter.
We do get a bit freaked out about instances when people doubted their faith. What does it say about you when you have genuine doubts in the Bible, Jesus, and the Gospel? What does it say about your friends? Your children? Are they to be scolded? Are you…dear friend or parent…a failure?
“You just gotta believe!”
Though many of us have heard that line, it sure isn’t very helpful. What does that mean anyway? How many naive passengers expressed faith in the “unsinkable” as the Titanic began to sink? How many were there who foolishly (and disastrously) said something similar when Jim Jones was passing out the cyanide-laced Kool-Aid?
But, the shame of doubting the One who is eternally and perfectly good. How could you? How dare you?!?!
What if I reminded you that Thomas wasn’t the only one? (Example: Peter’s denial x3. Paul’s coat holding and head nodding at Stephen’s execution.)
What if I reminded you that Jesus didn’t scold, shame, or expel Thomas?
What if I told you that properly engaged doubts can be good for the growing of your faith?
This weekend, we continue our study of people who dramatically followed our Lord. This time, we are given a peek into a time when one of those faith-filled-followers was struggling with doubt. You can get a head start by reading the account of John the Baptist’s time of struggling in Luke 7:18-35. To get a better appreciation of the tension between the faith he knew and the doubts he felt, I suggest you also read John 1:1-34 and John 3:22-36.
This is gonna be FUN!!!
Hope to see you this weekend,