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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Tuesday, April 6

Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.  So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.”
—John 20: 24-25

The great Anglican preacher Herbert O’Driscoll writes, “I have always thought it ironic and unjust that Thomas has become known as the doubting apostle. The truth is that we are all doubters. In this sense, Thomas is the apostle for all of us.”

I appreciate O’Driscoll’s honesty, and I have experienced the truth of what he says right under my own roof. My spouse has a keen mind and an immense curiosity. He was raised in a family that sent him to Sunday school and also obviously encouraged his ability to question everything.

He is full of questions: about science, philosophy and, of course,
religion. He has lots of questions about the Christian faith, most of them centered on the Nicene Creed (for instance: How can there be a Virgin birth? And what does it mean that on the third day Jesus rose from the dead?)

We have had some interesting conversations, to say the least, particularly since my ordination. There have also been some great times at our dinner table when we have had the privilege of hosting excellent preachers from out of town. One evening after a particularly hot exchange, John Claypool, a priest who was from Birmingham, Alabama, said, “You know, Frank, I think
you are one of the most faith-filled people I know. Not many people have the curiosity, much less the nerve, to ask such questions.”

Doubting Thomas? I don’t think so. Thomas, as O’Driscoll says, does not take his allegiance lightly. But when he does give his loyalty he gives it totally. He is the one, after all, who asked his questions, got his answers, and then said with all his heart (AND mind), “My Lord and my God!”

Thank you, God, for giving us inquiring minds and discerning hearts. May we have the wisdom and understanding to use these gifts, and to honor them in others. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2005.