Evidence That Matters
The Lord spoke to Thomas, “Put your finger here; look, here are my hands...Do not be unbelieving any more, but believe.” Thomas replied, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him: “You believe because you can see me. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” St. John 20:20-28
Historians say that Martin Luther in his later years was given to bouts of melancholy and depression, often retreating into his study for long periods of time. On one occasion, he locked himself into his study for several days and did not come out even to eat with his family. When he finally emerged, Luther found that his wife Katie had dressed herself and all their children in black from head to toe. “Why is everyone dressed for mourning?” he asked.
“Because God is dead.” answered Katie.
“God is not dead,” Luther objected. “Christ is risen!”
“Then why are you acting in such a faithless manner?” she asked.
Thomas is not the only one who doubted the good news of Christ's resurrection. Often our actions reveal our own doubts and disbelief.
And doubt is normal. After all, resurrection is not our everyday experience; rather, death is. Death is all too common and death is what we have come to expect. Every loss we experience is like a little death. The common disappointments and defeats of life dull our joy and cloud our perspective on God’s greatest miracle—life.
Considering this reality of our daily lives, how do we stay “Easter fresh,” so to speak, so that we do not succumb to fear and doubt on a daily basis?
Luther’s Small Catechism says it best, “I believe that I cannot by my own understanding or effort believe in my Lord Jesus Christ or come to him, but the Holy Spirit has called me through the gospel, enlightened me with his gifts and kept me in true faith.” (Explanation of the Third Article of the Creed)
And this is the gospel truth: we don’t have to come up with some program or spiritual exercise to get us fresh, joyful and believing. For not only did our Lord Jesus Christ conquer death and win life eternal for us; but he also brings us all the gifts that we need to live life abundantly. To Thomas and to us he gives peace, forgiveness, faith and a call to witness so that even in the midst of doubt we can still proclaim that Jesus Christ is risen!