Cries of Faith Edition
“Be merciful to those who doubt.” (Jude 22)
Odds are that you received this publication on Easter at Webster Gardens or you received it from someone who did. For many, myself included, Easter is a mountain top experience. And it’s not just the extraordinary music, crowds, spring time aesthetics and enthusiasm that light my fire. I identify Easter as the place where my faith survives.
Just because I’m a pastor does not mean my faith isn’t tested with disappointments and doubts. I need Easter because I need hope. When I think of Easter, I hear words that have grabbed me since I was a kid, “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Easter is so much more than dressed up churches and religious tradition. Easter helps me see the bigger picture. My take-home from Easter isn’t about all the convincing proofs for Jesus’ resurrection. The one that matters to me most is that God shows mercy to those who have doubts. That’s where I meet Jesus for “more than this life.”
An increasing number of people claim they have “no religion” or “no belief.” I understand that, and I’m convinced many are not as far from Jesus and hope as many would conclude. Contrary to popular opinion, doubt is not the opposite of faith. Doubt is often a primitive cry of faith. And there’s a lot of us crying it.
This issue of Grow Deep is offered to those who are looking for more than the superficial observances of Easter. It is the place where “Monday morning” meets reality; yet, alive with God’s mercy. What about all those apparent contradictions of science, suffering, intolerance and the many fights over the truth that plague Christianity? Wrestling with these common questions isn’t lacking faith. These are cries of (and for) faith.
This issue of Grow Deep is written by eight men and women who will not give you all the answers. They simply point you to places in the Bible where they have met God’s mercy. They don’t offer proofs that God is real. They don’t trivialize our struggles with explanations. They invite you to stay connected to Jesus and let the power of His Easter Resurrection be the place where we bring our cries for faith.
My thanks to Chris Burford, Terri Gibson, Sandi Geis, Edie Grieshaber, Laura Jostes, Scott Rehmer, Andy Sell and Jeff Thormodson for sharing their thoughts to guide this journey.
Pastor Bill Geis