Letter from the Rector – April 8th

“When they saw the resurrected Jesus, they worshiped Him, but some doubted.”
Matthew 28:17

Easter Season Sermon Video

Click below to hear The Rev. Frank Allen’s Sunday sermon preview for the Second Sunday of Easter, April 11th, 2021.

I Doubt It!

Dear People of St. David’s,

I pray that you and yours are safe and well and that some of the thrill of Easter continues to reside in your heart and life as we attempt to grasp the promise and the joy and the love that is Easter. It’s the most amazing moment in the history of the world and, though we have days in the Church year to focus on Easter and its aftermath, the reality of Christ’s resurrection and finding Him in our own lives can be a challenge and can raise doubts.

I like doubting. It’s one of the ways we learn and grow and come to deeper understandings. When we were kids and when our own sons were young, we played a game called “I Doubt It!” Some people have other, ‘rougher’ names for it, but essentially it was game of bluffing and testing whether someone was telling the truth. With playing cards, we would try to discard cards in order, sometime bluffing about what card we actually laid down. If someone thought you were trying to cheat, they’d say ‘I doubt it’ and you’d have to unveil the card. If you were caught sneaking the wrong card in, you had to take up the whole pile and start discarding again. If you hadn’t bluffed, then the person who challenged had to take up the cards.

We played this game with cards, with stories, with definitions of words and whenever we played, there was a lot of laughter. There was camaraderie. There was engagement. We developed good poker faces. And all of it centered on the interplay of people and doubting.

Sometimes in the Christian life, I have the impression that we are afraid to doubt and afraid of our doubts. We’re not all that sure doubting is allowed or we hear people challenged by others about their doubts. Too many people see doubt as the opposite of faith. Apparently, Jesus is not one of those people. The passage we heard from Mark’s Gospel on Easter; the passage we’re going to hear this Sunday; and this passage from Matthew’s Gospel show doubt to be an important part of faith. And this passage from Matthew is a stunner, because the resurrected Lord is in their midst and still there is doubt.

You see, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Fear is. Doubt leads us to look more closely. Doubt encourages us to test what’s going on and our beliefs. Doubt makes us engage. Doubt is part of our life with God. And while there’s not always hilarity involved, there’s a deep goodness to facing and dealing with our doubts. If we have doubts but stay engaged, we are much more likely to become involved with God in a personal way and God promises to make Himself known.

So, let me encourage you to deal with your doubts in general and with the resurrection in particular. Question. Wonder. Ask. Engage. Be open. Listen. God will draw close to us when we do and we will experience the resurrected Lord in our very lives.

Grace and Peace and Love,

The Rev. Frank Allen