Dear Uniting Church Friends,
Welcome to this week’s Prayerful and Pastoral Reflections.
I couldn’t believe it! I had cancelled the subscription, but there on the bank statement was a charge for a full years Zoom plan. I was incredulous!
Incredulous in the word used in some translations to describe the disciples
first reaction to the risen Christ in the Easter stories. You may remember
a time when you felt that way.
Our book group has been reading “Faith after Doubt” by Brian McLaren, a very readable book about the growth of his faith through many phases of doubt and incredulity. He describes this process of growth as like a tree adding rings as it ages, becoming stronger and more sturdy through the years of growth.
I remember it being said that doubt is not the opposite of faith. They are two sides of the one coin. Certainty, on the other hand, is the opposite of both doubt and faith. Certainty results in a form of fundamentalism in any circle, whether faith, politics, economics, or even science.
McLaren argues that doubt is the doorway to a growing and deepening faith. Depending on how we work with our doubts, of course, they are instrumental in us growing beyond a simple, black and white faith into the fullness of harmony, faith expressing itself in love. This sort of faith has more to do with trust in God, each other, and in life itself than any sort of certainty about doctrines and beliefs.
I hope you can find a sense of hope in the resurrection stories, portents of new life and renewal, even as we face the trauma of the news about the pandemic, climate change, sexual abuse, and all of the other tragedies that our world suffers. They reassure us that, in spite of our disbelief, new life is possible.
May you find blessing, joy, and space for contemplation this Easter period.
We are a prayerful community,
and we invite you to find
a quiet moment to meditate
with these reflections.
Love and Blessings to you all.
Charles and Kerrie.