History is filled with examples of religious groups fighting with each other, all sides claiming their actions are in the name of God. On the hottest of hot-button issues today (immigration, homosexuality, global warming, abortion), you can find those on every side sure that God is in their corner. Confirmation bias further convinces us. We find others in our camp to assure us we are correct, and those who disagree with us are clearly in the wrong. To make things even trickier, it is possible to find “evidence” in the Bible that fits our opinions. And when scripture inconveniently contradicts what people want it to say, there are cases where parts of the Bible are just eliminated, as in the case of plantation owners who threw out mentions of slavery in the “Slave Bible”.
In the case of Thomas, he of course is labeled as the Doubter. Thomas knew as sure as anything that people don’t come back from the dead. But Thomas was open to the evidence that God presented when he touched Jesus’ wounds.
There are natually cases in our own lives where we are so sure of something, and we want to believe that our choices or opinions are backed up by the will of God. It is hard to step back and listen to how God might move us in a different direction than how we originally set out. But being open to God’s voice is a critical part of who we are as followers of Christ.
Pastor Mark Summer’s sermon for Zion Lutheran Church of Oldwick on April 28, 2019.
Zion Lutheran Church has been Connecting People with God’s Grace for over 300 years.