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On the second Sunday of Easter every year we hear the story of Doubting Thomas, how he cannot trust in the resurrection until he has touched for himself the wounded body of the risen Jesus, and how Jesus graciously appears to allow him to do just that.

So often it is assumed that Thomas’s doubt is a weakness. The ideal of a strong faith, we think, is never to have any questions or hesitations, fears or worries. But I think the story tells us something else, and I think it is included in our lectionary every single year for another reason. (Think about it: the only other stories we hear every year in the lectionary are of Jesus’ birth, his crucifixion, and resurrection. It’s that important to hear this one too.)

Far from being an example to avoid, Thomas’s faith that includes skepticism and doubt is a model of Easter faith for us to follow. The Israeli poet, Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000) expresses the value and importance of such a faith in his poem, “The Place Where We Are Right”:

From the place where we are right
Flowers will never grow
In the spring.
The place where we are right
Is hard and trampled
Like a yard.
But doubts and loves
Dig up the world
Like a mole, a plow.
And a whisper will be heard in the place
Where the ruined
House once stood.

In a world that rewards the bravado of politicians who never voice a doubt about their position, and celebrates the bombast of commentators who claim to know the answers to every question, Jesus calls us to a quieter, gentler, more faithful walk in the world that includes doubts, questions, and even a healthy skepticism. This is resurrection faith, the faith of Doubting Thomas, the faith that will dig up the world and renew it, as Amichai’s poem expresses.

This Easter season I hope you will be attentive to the quiet ways in which God renews the world. I hope you will embody Thomas’s quiet, yet persistent faith that doubts but also pursues the truth in every way. And in this way, may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Pastor Kristian


Photo by Roman Synkevych on Unsplash