This weekend, we will begin our explorations of Jesus’s appearances to his disciples in the forty days between his resurrection and ascension. This Sunday’s is particularly well-known for a character that has been forever displaced by his doubt.
And yet, we are Presbyterians. We are known for our love of asking questions. Of diving deep into the messy, difficult quandaries that leave many of our fellow Christian brethren running scared. We welcome the chance to learn. To grow. To find ourselves forever seeking profound understandings and plumbing the depths because the answers we have found just don’t cut it.
Thomas is, in many ways, our founder. Many have called him the first scientist. The one seeking that first proof. And don’t worry: we may find, when we look more closely at our passage that Jesus is not actually condemning him for his doubts.
Now, some important history for us: there is a passage in one of our confessions, in the Westminster Confession of Faith, that states that “the requiring of an implicit faith, and an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience, and reason also.” Allow me to translate: we believe that God alone is the one who governs what we believe. We believe that through the Holy Spirit God guides us to use our reason to grow in our faith and understanding. And, most importantly, we absolutely believe that no one should ever, ever force us to believe a specific set of doctrines or teachings.
In other words, we welcome questions. We don’t want easy answers. And we are here to walk together as we seek the great wonders of God’s own self, God’s work in this world, and who God is calling us to be.
So come this weekend as we begin to unravel some of these questions. And we’ll see what better questions we find next.
Blessings, Pastor Janie