“Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:5-7 (NRSV)
Thomas often gets a bad rap. This is evidenced by “Doubting Thomas” — the name traditionally attached to him But are Thomas or his questions so different from our questions? Later in John’s gospel, Thomas asks for proof of the resurrection. Do we always have a clear sense of where God is leading us? Don’t we also search for answers, sometimes questioning whether God is present in our lives?
In much of Christian culture, and in society in general, there is a sense that certainty — or being without doubt — is the same as faith. In some communities, “right belief” or adherence to statements of “faith” are required. The Greek word often translated into English as “faith” is pistis, which can also be understood as trust. In a way, faith could be defined as trust while still having doubts or questions.
God desires our trust, not our certainty or lack of doubt. In a prayer we use at the Edge House, Thomas Merton begins, “My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going…” yet still ends with “…I will trust you always…” God knows we have questions but still leads us on the way.
Prayer: God, give us good courage to trust in you even when we aren’t certain of the way. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Deacon Student Matthew Petersen, Cincinnati, OH