Fearless Thomas, Patron Saint of Skeptics

linda_webEaster is over…. Well, at least Easter Sunday has come and gone, but because we are an “Easter People”, the resurrection story continues to be our story every day of our lives — even at those times that feel more like Good Friday. But life can throw some pretty difficult things at us, and it’s not unthinkable that we can fall prey to despair or question the faith that has, up to that point, sustained us. So this week, we turn to the “patron saint” of all those who falter with uncertainties or need to ask the deeper questions: Thomas (sometimes referred to as “Doubting Thomas”). “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands, put my finger in the wounds left by the nails, and put my hand into his side, I won’t believe.” Thomas needed more than someone else’s report — he needed his own experience of the risen Christ — and he wasn’t afraid to ask the question. Jesus did not reprimand him either.

A theology professor of mine told our class that questions absolutely were not the antithesis of faith. We latch on to the clear or unambiguous answers because we fear to ask the questions that make the real difference to the quality and content of our souls. Because we mistakenly think that having answers is the same as having faith. I wonder if faith for us is sometimes more about feeling safe and secure than it is about the content and quality of our soul. 

He said, “Therefore, all truly devoted seekers will engage the mystery of faith with a question mark.” As a student who seemed always to have one eyebrow raised, I liked that answer!

So if Thomas’ questions created a transformed life out of the shards of the old one, took him into a new world and a new hope — where will our questions lead us….

Thomas didn’t get answers — he got a new understanding. The answers had been with him even before the crucifixion — but understanding came when he opened the door to another possibility.

Where will our questions, your questions, lead us this season? We will explore that together this Sunday as we look at this bold disciple — who is so like many of us — and the challenge of resurrection faith in his own life. Was resurrection possible for Jesus then? Is resurrection possible for this world, our lives, today?





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