“I doubt it.”
The Church can be ironic. One week after we have we proclaimed the resurrection of the dead through Jesus at Easter, we confront the inevitable reaction: doubt that such an amazing, miraculous thing could occur. St. Thomas has carried the heavy burden of “doubter in chief” for us for two thousand years, but most of us would acknowledge our own doubts about many Christian beliefs. They may come and go.
Some doubts stick with us and complicate our life in the church. For some, it is hard to say the ancient creeds with integrity, with their arcane Fourth Century formulations of Christian doctrine. How is Jesus “only-begotten of the Father”? Can we in all honesty call ourselves Christians if we don’t – or can’t – see our way to believe all these things?
The evils of the world are in constant tension with our belief in a good and loving God who is active in the world. We rightly celebrate signs of life, love, and hope. But we also wonder why the bad guys seem to be winning much of the time!
I submit that doubt is not the enemy of faith (nor is doubt the enemy of the faithful). It is in fact the flip-side of faith. Honest doubt is what makes faith real, and challenging. Just as darkness allows us to see and define light, so doubt provides the contours of thoughtful faith. The 10:45 a.m. sermon will explore Jesus’ reaction to doubt, which may surprise us when we examine it. JBM