From Holy Doubt To Blessed Faith

2024년 4월 14일

From Holy Doubt To Blessed Faith

< Third Sunday of Easter >

 If we are honest, we admit that once in a while we might doubt God—not necessarily God’s existence, but God’s mercy. A famous atheist put it this way: God is either all powerful or all merciful, but not both. We must admit it seems he makes a valid point. We see God’s power in creation, in the sun and moon and stars. We see God’s power in the beauty of the earth, the wonderful animals, lightning and rainbows, earthquakes and yes, in the solar eclipse. But sometimes God’s mercy seems absent. Last Sunday some friends and I traveled up into the Adirondacks to witness the eclipse and on Monday, the nine of us drove even deeper into the mountains to experience the totality of darkness, when the moon completely covers the sun for a few precious moments, revealing a breathtaking, radiant ring of light encircling the dark moon. And in that once-in-a-lifetime experience I appreciated the role doubt plays in revealing God’s great mercy. The radiance of the sun’s light is always there everyday, but we don’t look straight at it since it would damage our eyes. During an eclipse, we use special glasses until the moment of totality when with our naked eyes we can see the beautiful crown of God’s glory. Without the moon, there would be no eclipse, no wonder, no awe.

This is the role doubt plays in our life of faith. God’s power is always visible, but sometimes something happens to make us question God’s mercy. A loved one gets sick and despite our prayers, they die; or a terrible accident takes the life of our Sunday school teachers; or a fire takes our home or we lose our job. Where is the mercy of God in all this? We can identify with Thomas in today’s gospel. Why should we believe Jesus is risen from the dead just because our friends insist they experienced his presence? Like Thomas we demand proof—physical proof. And despite locked doors and locked hearts and minds, Jesus stands before us and gives us his peace. He invites us to touch his wounds and believe. Then from terrible doubt, Thomas utters the greatest expression of faith: “My Lord and my God!” In no other gospel does anyone acknowledge Jesus not just as Messiah, Savior, or Lord—but God! And this great declaration of faith is a result of Thomas expressing his doubt! When bad things happen—and bad things always happen— let the darkness of that moment cover the radiance of God’s mercy so that the crown of God’s glory fills our broken hearts with the power of God’s presence.