Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Advent 2015 December 16

The last five verses of the gospel of Matthew tell us of the eleven disciples (very specific that Judas is gone) meeting on a mountain in Galilee to wait for Jesus to appear after the resurrection and before the ascension.  The text says “they worshipped, but some doubted.”  I have never heard a sermon on the “but some doubted.”
Your theology has to have a place for doubt.  Someone who says they never doubt either is lying or is will be surprised one day when it happens to them.
Doubt is real and likely to happen, but it is not insurmountable. I like to think of doubt not as settled unbelief, but as hesitation; in fact, that is the core meaning of the word in the Matthew passage.  Not that I am affirming doubt, just naming the elephant in the room so we can deal with it.

Doubt has legitimate sources: for me, the presence of great evil; for others, unanswered prayer; for others, peer pressure and the voices of the world, sometimes voices that are right.  Sometimes doubt may cause us to seek God more and find out that what we thought we believed about God and his world really aren’t so. And of course, doubt is ultimately a choice, just as faith is
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     There is plenty to doubt in Christmas story in Luke and Matthew, if one hesitates and does not throw himself/herself into the story and really live its fullness. 

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