Today’s Readings: AM Psalm 55; PM Psalm 138, 139:1-17(18-23); Zech. 8:9-17; Rev. 6:1-17; Matt. 25:31-46
A Reflection from Amy Williams, Assistant to Bishop Johnston
Today’s readings commemorate the apostle Thomas, the one we all know as “Doubting Thomas.” When I think of how doubt fits into a time of anticipation, I am immediately aware that doubt is a natural part of it. That feeling of butterflies in your stomach is the presence of some doubt while you wait for opening night, the important meeting or the first date. What pregnant woman, Mary included, is not excited about the upcoming birth of her child while also feeling a little concerned, nervous or uncertain about how labor will go, or if the baby will be healthy, or what kind of parent she could be?
My 10-year-old son now doubts that Santa Claus is real. His skepticism became evident last year when on Christmas Eve he insisted on setting up his video recorder to capture Santa coming out of the fireplace. He is eager for presents, but he questions what he thought he knew about how those gifts really get under the tree. He claims that if he sees him, he will believe he is real. My son has always been the type that needs proof. Just like Thomas was.
I am comfortable that my son has questions about what he thought was true. As his mother, I do wish he would accept “because I told you so” as a good enough answer from time to time. But I think it’s acting on doubts that leads us to an ever growing faith in our beliefs. Doubts let us know where the edges of our faith are. If you want to nurture your faith, push those edges out farther by exploring doubt through the purposeful posing of questions and searching for the answers. As we move beyond our doubts, faith is put into motion.
I hope my son will see Santa everywhere he looks one day. That’s certainly the answer I am giving him because that’s what I have come to believe. I am looking forward to that day – without any butterflies in my stomach – because after all, Thomas, possibly the most famous doubter of us all, saw the proof he asked for too.