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  • Amber

Doubting Thomas


Easter is more than a one-day holiday. It is a fifty-day season that lasts from Easter Sunday until Pentecost Sunday. The whole season is for celebrating the Resurrection of Christ and His gift for all people, then, now and forever. That’s why the season is marked by the color white, a color for joy, purity, and restoration.


While the three-year liturgical cycle means we often see different accounts every few years, the second Sunday of Easter is always reserved for the doubting Thomas story. It’s easy to see why this story appears every year, as this story is very relatable.


It can be easy to forget, given the week between the two Sundays, that the story of Thomas occurs the same day as the Resurrection. It’s only been three days since Jesus’ death and Thomas, honestly, has every reason to doubt the idea that he came back from the dead. It’s certainly not an everyday occurrence. And if he did let himself have that hope that Jesus might be back, he’d have to mourn his loss all over again.


There are some people in today’s world who feel that doubt is the opposite of faith, and that doubt – especially to doubt anything in the Christian faith – is a bad thing. But it’s an absolutely normal human emotion. I doubt myself on the regular for any number of mundane things, it’s an emotion I’m very familiar with and I imagine the same can be said for most people out there. Being unable to doubt would hinder my faith.

Doubt can exist within faith. Writer Jessica Kantrowitz likens faith to a child holding the hand of a trusted adult to cross the street. A child will look to the adult for when it is safe to cross, or maybe the child won’t look and will try and cross, but the adult will keep a tight grip, so they don’t get too far. But there is still freedom there, the adult (or God) will not hold tight and not let the child (us) go anywhere. We (and the child) are allowed to be curious and look, double check that it is safe for ourselves, but God is always there for us regardless. We can trust and have faith that God is always with us, even while we’re doubting.


Thomas is far from the only example of doubt in the bible, though he has become the ‘poster boy’ for it. There are countless examples from Moses to Peter of doubt being expressed, doubt that God meant to call them, doubt that miracles could occur. Even faith leaders in our modern day, like Saint Teresa, have expressed doubts.


So, what if we don’t hide our doubts, but share them. Use the community of Christ around you to bolster you and your faith when you are having doubts. Rachel Held Evans has said that she enjoyed saying the Apostles’ Creed because it reminded her of the community around her, and that where someone struggled, there was always someone to help in turn.


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