Monday, April 25, 2011

The Resurrection, Doubt and Mystery

If you missed Sunday I hope you'll download "Doubters Welcome".  People seemed to be encouraged that doubting the resurrection is not the end of the world. The disciples doubted but came around to finally believe and that's why they wrote their gospel accounts.

I spoke a little about "mystery" in the first service. I got a little more insight as I spoke during the second service and so I'll share that here.

My point was that Jesus isn't threatened by our doubt or disappointed by our confusion and lack of understanding.  He would call that  "mystery".  I noted that mystery stories keep us on the edge of our seat. They engage us because we want to learn more.  Some people hate mysteries. They don't like the suspense. They want things cut and dried for them. Obvious.  But most people are intrigued by mystery. And if you think about it, doubt and confusion are central to what makes a good mystery.

Mystery is what keeps us dating that special person. I didn't learn all there is to know about  Lisa (my wife) on our first date.  She fascinated me and made me want to know more.  Thirty three years later I realize that there is still more to discover about her. This keeps me engaged.

Mystery is not a bad thing. It's good. And that's why God is happy to keep us guessing at times. Our culture wants everything mapped out and diagrammed. But when it is, we get bored  and move on to the next thing.

I think one of the reasons that young people today are not interested in Jesus or Christianity is because in past days  the church felt the need to answer every question and  solve every problem that bothered people about the faith. Church people felt that if we could answer every question we would win more converts. But the truth is...when you answer every question you eliminate the mystery. You make God boring.  We that it? I think Buddhism is cooler! (some might say).

Leave it to the church to make God boring!

My point in saying  this is that  if you doubt and don't always understand God...that's okay. Don't assume you are a failure and give up. Don't walk away. Walk toward God with your questions and you'll be surprised how much he has to show you about himself.