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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Today’s Scripture Reading | Matthew 28:16–20             

Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (NRSV)

Reflection
The disciples had just gone through a lot. They experienced probably some of the most transformative years of their lives. They traveled with Jesus, witnessed his healings and exorcisms, heard his teachings. They were there for Jesus’ horrendous trial and death, lost one of their peers, and experienced the miracle of Jesus’ resurrection. But some doubted.

Transition, trauma, growth—everyone goes through it differently, with ups and downs, confusion and clarity. It makes sense that some of the disciples doubted. They had to have been processing so much. But they were still there with Jesus, and Jesus was still there with them. He still trusted them with the great commission, and he promised to always be there with them as they continued sharing the good news.

I find Jesus’ trust and promised presence comforting, because I too experience doubt along the faith journey. I too would have been overwhelmed, nervous, excited, scared—who wouldn’t with a person like Jesus? I get the impression, though, that this isn’t a surprise for Jesus. There’s no “and Jesus shamed those who doubted” or “and Jesus expelled the disciples who were still confused.” Doubt is human, and God works with it. God uses it for sharing the love and ministry of Christ. Isn’t it awesome how God works with our humanity? God works with who we are for God’s glory in the world.

Prayer
Holy and loving God, thank you for being there with us in our doubt. Thank you for encouraging us and loving us where we are. Thank you for making us vessels for your work in our humanness, while also challenging us to continue on sharing your good news. In Jesus’ name we pray and hope. Amen.

Written by Abbi Heimach-Snipes, Pastoral Resident


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