Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Resurrection | Uncertainty

Easter has come to be a great celebration of the Church – and rightly so. But it is worth remembering that Jesus’ resurrection gives rise to uncertainty as much as to certainty – and, indeed, that in response to the resurrected Lord we may have to pass through uncertainty before certainty (in the sense of confidence, not empirical proof) can be ours.

Thomas famously ‘doubts,’ and is held up by the Church as the example par excellence of lack of faith (somewhat unfairly, as Jesus comes to restore Thomas just as he comes to restore Peter who has denied him). Thomas lacks certainty that Jesus has risen from the dead. In this, it seems to me, he does not doubt God; but expresses uncertainty in the ability of the community of disciples to rightly discern what God is up to; and quite possibly uncertainty in his own ability to do likewise.

Peter also expresses uncertainty: having encountered the risen Jesus, and knowing him to be so, Peter and others return to Galilee, and take up their fishing nets. In going back to what he had been doing before God called him to follow, Peter demonstrates an uncertainty in his ability to discern what God is up to now.

At times, I have uncertainty in the ability of the Church to rightly discern God’s leading. At times I am challenged to accept uncertainty in my ability to do likewise. Having ‘gone through’ Good Friday and Holy Saturday and Easter Sunday, I may wish it were otherwise. But perhaps this is as much part of the post-Easter continuation of the story as our celebrations.


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