Sunday, April 15, 2012

Keeping your Doubts with you!

Back to "normal" - whatever that means.  Here is today's sermon based on John 20:19-31

I love this text. I love hearing the story of Jesus appearing to the disciples while they are in the locked room. I love imagining their reaction.  Were they scared, shocked. How many of them grabbed Jesus' hands, touched him to make sure he wasn't a ghost.  I love this story. It is probably one of my favorites to preach on, because I think everyone can see themselves in Thomas and the rest of the disciples. 

Unfortunately Thomas gets a bum wrap.  He is the one called Doubting, but yet each of the disciples doubted.  Even with all the times Jesus warns that he will return from the dead, no one expected to see Jesus alive again after he died.  That is why they proclaimed to Thomas "we have seen the Lord."

And we are right there with Thomas and the other disciples, not truly believing what Jesus has told us, not completely sure how this resurrection took place or what it means for our lives.  We are just like the disciples, wanting to believe with all of our heart soul and mind and yet still worried about our future.  Still worried to completely trust in God for the future of this congregation.  Not able to let go of all of our fears about personal finances or measuring up to coworkers or strangers, we are not able to let go of our doubts when it comes to our relationships both with God and others.  We are like Thomas and the disciples, we have doubts.
But it is okay to have doubts.  It is okay to question, to wonder, to worry about ourselves. Our family, our future, our faith.  It is okay to have doubts because we are not God. We do not know everything. 

So I want you to think for a moment (silently) and reflect on your doubts.  What are the concerns that keep you up at night?  What questions would you ask God if you were able to? What worries you about the future? What doubts do you have? 

Now take a moment and write them down.  And put them in the egg I'm giving you.  Because we will always have doubt with us.  I want to keep this egg with you, keep it in your purse or your car.  Maybe keep it in your work bag or a bedside table.  Or maybe just take the slip of paper and keep it in your wallet.

We need not hide from our doubts or banish them.  I cringe when I hear people say that we need to not be like Thomas.  Instead embrace your inner Thomas, verbalizing your doubts.  And hopefully in a week or two or a month or a year, these doubts will be answered.  Now some of our doubts will never be answered, and if these doubts are answered others will take their place. 

So why an Easter Egg – well they are a sign of the resurrection, a sign of the empty tomb.  And so hopefully for some of you, some day you will come across this egg and open it and realize that there is nothing really there.  Yes this slip of paper with your writing will be on it, but this doubt that right now is weighing so heavily on you is actually no longer a doubt, it is no longer a concern – that really it is nothing.  Your egg will be empty. 

Because remember doubts are part of faith, and we are blessed by Jesus when we believe, whether we have doubts or not.  And our doubts do change overtime, so let’s be like Thomas and embrace them. 

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