Scripture John 20:19-31 (click for full reading)
“Thomas said to Him, ‘My Lord and my God!'” —John 20:28
The Longest Week
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
I’ve always thought the disciple Thomas got a bad rap.
Despite being a pretty courageous and standup guy throughout the Gospels, he is forever known as “Doubting Thomas” simply because his faith had a few shaky moments. And really, haven’t we all been there?
Thomas was waiting. He was waiting to see Jesus, and He had to wait a week longer than the rest of the disciples. In that week of waiting he began to doubt. He started to wonder if he had missed his chance to see the risen Lord.
Have you ever let doubts enter in during times of waiting?
As you wait for test results? Or for a phone call to be returned?
Or for a baby to be born?
After a week of waiting, I think I can understand the doubts Thomas had a little bit more. And I also understand that the doubts of Thomas didn’t take away from what he believed.
Reverend Mary Harvey said: “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act in the presence of fear. Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the courage to believe in spite of doubt.”
We all have doubts. We leave the empty tomb on Easter and head back into lives that don’t always feel full of new life. We head right back into the places that cause us to doubt.
Yet God isn’t asking us for perfect faith, or even faith without doubt.
God is asking for our faith to be stronger than our doubt.
Even if it’s 49% Doubt and 51% faith. Faith that we are loved. Faith that Jesus is who he said he is.
And when our faith isn’t stronger than the doubt… well… that’s when Christ comes. And He will. He will show up. That’s what he does to Thomas, and that’s what he does to us. Christ enters into our locked rooms and breathes peace on us and reminds us that we are children of God. Over, and over again.
And thank God for that.
Questions to ponder/discuss
1. What things cause you to doubt the most?
2. What are ways you (do/can) counteract your doubts?
3. What might it mean for you that Christ keeps on showing up?
Memorize the Mary Harvey quote:
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but the capacity to act in the presence of fear. Faith is not the absence of doubt, but the courage to believe in spite of doubt.”
Recite it in the mornings to start your day off with a reminder that the presence of doubt in your life does not mean there is a lack of faith.