The second week of Easter leads us into a familiar topic here at Sacred Margins — Doubt. We’ve written about doubt on many occasions in this space over the last year. And I’m sure it will continue to be a topic for us as our faith continues to grow and stretch.
It’s tempting today is to rehash some of this ground we’ve covered. But I’ll let you look back over some of these old posts if you desire. Instead, I would like you to face your own doubt by looking through the eyes of Thomas.
So, take a few minutes to look at the following painting. It’s one Chris has posted before and a special one for us. Stop. Breath. Look. Examine. SEE. Then think about the questions before reading the scriptures and praying our daily prayer.
Where are you exeriencing doubt right now in your relationship with Jesus?
Could that doubt not be the enemy, but lead you to deeper faith?
How has doubt been a companion to your faith?
That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said. As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, they are forgiven. If you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”
One of the twelve disciples, Thomas (nicknamed the Twin), was not with the others when Jesus came. They told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he replied, “I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.”
Eight days later the disciples were together again, and this time Thomas was with them. The doors were locked; but suddenly, as before, Jesus was standing among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
“My Lord and my God!” Thomas exclaimed.
Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
The disciples saw Jesus do many other miraculous signs in addition to the ones recorded in this book. But these are written so that you may continue to believethat Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing in him you will have life by the power of his name.
Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. “Didn’t we tell you never again to teach in this man’s name?” he demanded. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”
But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross.Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.”
Grace and peace to you from the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come; from the sevenfold Spirit before his throne; and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world.
All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Look! He comes with the clouds of heaven. And everyone will see him — even those who pierced him. And all the nations of the world will mourn for him. Yes! Amen!
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
Lord, open my heart to the power of your moving
around me, within me and through me.
Make your presence known to me.
Guide me in the path of discipleship
not despite my doubt, but through it and because of it.
As you have walked with me,
help me walk with others today
to bring the kindgom close in real ways
even in our greatest doubts and fears. Amen