After the sermon one worshipper thanked the minister and said, “Thanks for the message, Reverend. You must be smarter than Einstein.” Beaming with pride, the minister said, “Why, thank you, brother! Exactly what do you mean that I must be smarter than Einstein?”
“Well, Reverend, they say that Einstein was so smart that only ten people in the world could understand him. But Reverend, no one can understand you.”
I hope my readers can understand my reflections today on faith and doubt, a challenging topic; a paradox we all struggled with.
“Without somehow destroying me in the process, how could God reveal himself in a way that would leave no room for doubt? If there were no room for doubt, there would no room for me.” -Frederick Buechner
“Where there is no longer any opportunity for doubts, there is no longer any opportunity for faith.” -Paul Tournier
Even Jesus’ closest followers just didn’t “get it” when he died on the cross. They had given up; coming to anoint his body after the Sabbath. But the stone had been rolled away; the shroud had been rolled up.
John, Peter, even Mary Magdalene, who thought someone had stolen the body, doubted the possibility of resurrection. Jesus had raised several people from the dead, and they confessed that he was the son of God. But their doubts persisted after the crucifixion.
Even when we struggle with doubt, you and I should continue to pray for faith and nourish its growth with scripture and prayer. Whether we believe or not makes all the difference in our rising from death. There is much we can fall back on to strengthen our faith.
The witness of the disciples, the image of Christ in the love of our brothers and sisters, all the stories about this love of Christ, and the Holy Spirit enlivening us, should strengthen our faith.
Can we say we have not seen the Lord? Can we say Jesus has not risen? We can go forth and witness with traditional greetings:
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig auferstanden!
Chrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!