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RESURRECTION STATION 6

PRAYER AND REFLECTION IN TIMES OF DOUBT IN THE LIGHT OF RESURRECTION

Philip Yancey, in his book, Reaching for the Invisible God, writes,

“Doubt is the skeleton in the closet of faith,

and I know no better way to treat a skeleton

than to bring it into the open and expose it for what it is:

not something to hide or fear,

but a hard structure on which living tissues may grow.”



READING: "Thomas…was not with them when Jesus came....

Thomas said, 'Unless I see the mark of the nails in His hands

and put my finger into the nail marks and put my hand into His side, I will not believe'...


Jesus came...and stood in their midst and said, 'Peace be with you.' Then He said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here and see My hands,

and bring your hand and put it into My side,

and do not be unbelieving, but believe'…

Blessed are those who do not see and yet believe."

(John 20: 24- 29).


REFLECTION: It is through Thomas’ example that we realize

that doubt can be a part of faith.

Too easily we call him "Doubting Thomas,”

forgetting that after examining the nail marks,

he fully embraced the Risen One as his Lord and Saviour.

Thomas' doubt was transformed into a lively faith.

We too, are called to believe,

knowing full well that our faith may be tested by doubt and fear.

As disciples who desire an ever-deeper faith,

we are patient and understanding

with those who are struggling, searching

and seeking like Thomas.



The existence of Jesus is well-documented, not only throughout the Bible but by other non-Christian historians, including Josephus and Roman politicians Pliny and Tacitus, and in the text of the Qur’an.


In Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis argues this documentation is proof of Jesus’ existence. And the fact that he claimed to be the Son of God means we can’t see him as just a great moral teacher. A person who claimed to be the son of God is either a liar, a lunatic or he is the Son of God. Lewis said we all have to wrestle with this question of who Jesus really was since we can’t dispute his existence.



It is only human to doubt and grapple with the invisible, non-tangible matters of faith. Yancey states, “Doubt always coexists with faith,

for in the presence of certainty who would need faith at all?”


Sometimes our faith is unshakable while other times it is on shaky ground. If you are old enough you might remember playing on a see-saw. One minute you were up and the next one down. Our journey of faith can feel like this at times.


Life impacts our faith. We are excited about the new job then tragedy hits home. We joyfully anticipate the birth of our newborn then we learn the baby is ill.


We make plans for retirement then discover that our spouse has terminal cancer. Many times our faith dangles on a pendulum that swings from belief to unbelief, back to belief.


What do we do in times of doubt and unbelief?

Pray!


In the gospel story (Mark 9:17-25)

the father who brought his tormented son to Jesus for healing, prayed,

“I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.” (Mark 9:24)

Jesus didn’t judge the man;

he saw his faith, understood his doubt and healed his son.

God’s grace is sufficient in times of doubt.


When in doubt, what is your prayer?

Have you ever prayed - “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief.” ?



PRAYER: Heavenly Father and God of mercy,

we no longer look for Jesus among the dead,

for He is alive and has become the Lord of life.

From the waters of death

You raise us up with Him and renew Your gift of life within us.

Increase in our minds and hearts

the risen life we share with Christ

and help us to grow as Your people

toward the fullness of eternal life with You.

We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


SOLITUDE IS A PLACE OF CERTAINTY ...


...which is a taste of the desert A place of silence in the midst of tumult A place of peace in times of confusion A place of certainty in days of doubt A place of hospitality that welcomes the searcher A place of flame to lighten the darkness A place of prayer which is the essence of being In this place we each find God and know that when for a while we lose him He is there waiting for our return. Chris McDonnell



SET ME FREE (Rex Chapman)


Set me free, Lord,

From faith and hope in lesser things.


Set me free, Lord,

from commitment to my own blueprints for my own future.


Set me free, Lord,

for commitment to your plans for my future.


Set me free, Lord,

to live and work and serve,

building your future.






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