Trinity and Doubt
The Gospel for Sunday tells of one of Jesus’ resurrection appearances, but has an amazing statement. “When they saw [Jesus], they worshiped him;” nothing surprising there. We would expect that to be the reaction to seeing the resurrected Jesus! But Matthew continues, “but some doubted.” (Click here for the full passage.) How could you doubt when looking Jesus in the face?
Stepping back for a moment, this would have been truly overwhelming experience and it might have been difficult to even believe one’s own eyes. I can make sense of people doubting in the midst of an overwhelming experience that defied all previous experience, but I want to think about the implications for us.
First, having some doubt does not mean we are not Christian or not followers of Jesus. Those who think carefully and take faith seriously will naturally have times of doubt. Indeed, the only road to a confident faith is through asking the really hard questions and grappling with doubt.
Second, doubt doesn’t mean that Jesus does not send us on mission into the world. He immediately sent the disciples out, apparently including the doubters. Not only are we not rendered unworthy by our moments of doubt, but we are still called into service! Indeed, it is both my personal experience and my observation of others that engaging in service to God and one another is the best antidote to doubt.
The critical distinction I believe is this: Doubt that seeks truth and confidence is good and right. Doubt that simply seeks to doubt, or is just an excuse to not step out in faith and service is not worthy of the Christian.
So, do not run from or deny your healthy doubt. Look for truth. Pray for confidence. Step out in faith. You will find God there!
Where is your nagging doubt? Where is your call to serve?
This column appeared in the June 7, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.