May the Words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, oh Lord our strength and our redeemer.
There’s an old adage,
That “The Opposite of Faith is Doubt.”
Where it originated, I’m not really sure.
But what I am sure of,
Is that it’s NOT true.
A writer named Anne Lamott says, The Opposite of faith is not doubt, it’s certainty.”
Another says, “The Opposite of faith is not doubt, but fear.”
I’m not sure which is truer
Because they’re both pretty true.
They’re both right.
The Opposite of faith is NOT doubt.
Because doubting isn’t all that bad.
It doesn’t mean a lack of faith.
It means we’re humans.
It means we’re searching.
It means that we want something more.
And that is deeply good.
Thomas—one of the disciples:
Get’s a pretty bad wrap.
Throughout Christian history, many have knocked him.
Even coining the phrase, “Doubting Thomas.”
But Thomas isn’t all that bad.
He’s not lacking faith.
He wants something more.
I was actually ordained to the priesthood on the Feast day of St. Thomas.
And I remember being so excited.
Because even on my ordination of the priesthood,
I could identify with the famous “doubter.”
And now, nine years later,
I still look back in gratitude,
That I was ordained on a day that commemorates one of the best saints--
Although one that has a somewhat scarred reputation.
Thomas says, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands,
And put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
Everybody focuses on the “I will not believe part.”
And they neglect to realize that Thomas isn’t a bad unbeliever,
But someone who is longing.
Longing with a HOLY longing.
(There’s actually a SUPER good book about this by Ronald Rolheiser: and I think theres even a couple of copies of it in the side office.)
His book is titled the Holy Longing.
And this is what Thomas is up to:
When everyone calls him doubting:
Thomas: is Longing, and desiring,
Wanting so badly for Jesus to be alive.
Wanting so badly, that he craves to touch Jesus.
See with his eyes,
And touch with his hands.
This is not all bad.
This is not lacking faith.
This is desire, springing out of love.
And I can’t figure out where Thomas’ bad reputation comes from.
Because Jesus doesn’t chastise him.
Jesus doesn’t neglect him.
Jesus doesn’t tell him that he’ll rot forever.
Instead: Jesus shows up.
Jesus gives in to Thomas’ deep desire.
And allows Thomas to see, to touch, and to know once and for all--
That Jesus is RISEN and Alive.
The opposite of faith is Not doubt.
Because doubt is a huge part of faith.
Doubt fires up our longings--
Urging us to seek for more.
Doubt keeps us on our toes,
Making us pay attention.
Raising our awareness,
And stirs up our desire to touch and see God’s love.
In Doubting—we crave.
We have each other.
(are you ever getting tired of me talking about this? This need that we have for one another?)
In those doubtful times, we see each other--
We remind each other.
We pay attention to each other.
We give each other more.
So if today’ your doubting--
If you’re doubting that Christ is truly risen and alive,
First: Know that it’s okay.
And then look around.
Let the doubt lead you to that place of seeking.
Searching to see and touch something more.
And you can see The risen Christ right here.
In the people you know.
The fact that we are even here:
Alive, and worshiping together,
Is some proof that Christ is risen and alive.
And if that’s not enough:
Then maybe YOU need to BE that proof.
Maybe YOU are called to show your friends, your family,
Or maybe even the world that Christ is truly risen and alive.
The proof is right in front of us.
Sometimes we miss it.
And that’s okay.
Sometimes we doubt it.
And that’s okay.
Because doubting is a part of this faith.
But the proof--
Is always there.
As long as we are willing to be more like Thomas.
To be a seeker.
To want a better world.
To work for a better world.
To BE one who ushers in a better world,
Even in the doubt.
To have a holy longing:
A holy desire:
To crave the touch of the risen Christ.
Enjoy the weekly sermons at anytime.