The Sunday after Easter is called Low Sunday. While Easter Sunday records the largest church attendance of any Sunday of the year, Low Sunday usually records the lowest. By the way, there is nothing spiritual associated with the term “Low Sunday.” However, I do find it interesting that the story of “Doubting Thomas” always comes up on “Low Sunday.”
Jesus’ first appearance to the disciples when Thomas is absent actually took place the evening of Easter. That would have been Low Sunday for Thomas. He missed that first eye witness account by the disciple that Jesus is alive and it made him doubt it. We too often miss Jesus appearance to us in various circumstances and it causes us to doubt as well. Our doubts can either lead us to a crisis of faith or a stronger faith. Let’s be clear, God is not threatened by our doubts! God wants to use our doubts to move us “From Doubting to Believing.” Here’s where I believe the church has often missed the point. We have traumatized people with doubts by making them believe that doubting is somehow sinful.
I’ve said on several occasions, “A lot of folks see me as very confident; when actually I have as many insecurities as anyone else. However; what I do have is a great confidence in God, and that’s what they see.” Now some folks think I’m saying I never have any doubts. Well, they are wrong. I have doubts just like anyone else, but I have learned to face my doubts and use them to move me “From Doubting to Believing.” How do I do that? When I struggle with doubts in my faith journey, many times it’s because I’ve lost sight of the reason for Jesus’ Crucifixion and the need for His Resurrection. It was all because God loves me. Going back to that simple fact strengthens my faith even in the presence of my doubts and I find myself able to move “From Doubting to Believing,” even when I don’t have answers to all my questions.
Keith Whyte writes “Doubt is not the opposite of faith, but a part of it.” The poet Alfred Lord Tennyson put it this way: “There lives more faith in honest doubt, believe me, than in half the creeds.” Thomas’s doubt is not non-belief in some creedal statement, but it was a lack of confidence to trust in the present reality of the Love of God when he hadn’t visible seen it (Jesus).
And think about this: evidently, there was a moment of doubt on the part of Jesus on the Cross, when He cried out, “My God! My God! Why have You forsaken Me!” If Jesus had a moment of doubt, how could it be sin for us to have doubts?
The question is not do we have doubts. We all doubt; even good Christians! The question is will we allow our doubts to become a crisis of faith for us or will we use them to move us “From Doubting to Believing.” The second appearance of Jesus to the disciples with Thomas present and speaking to Thomas was that moment for Thomas. When will it be for you?
“He still speaks” and He is still appearing to us today! In the face of doubts, learn to move “From Doubting to Believing” by trusting in the present reality of the Love of God. Buck the trend and come to church this week. Join us for worship at Covenant on this Low Sunday. I will be preaching a sermon called “From Doubting to Believing” based on the scripture text of I John 1:1-4 and John 20:19-31.