DayBreaks for 11/30/18: Doubting Worshipers
From the DayBreaks archive, November 2008:
I look forward to worship every Sunday morning. I love music and we celebrate communion each Sunday. I even usually manage to get something out of the message (in spite of the fact that I’m the one doing the preaching!) I enjoy the fellowship before, during and afterwards, and the entire experience usually will draw me closer to God.
I must always guard and be aware of the fact that not everyone who is present is on the same page. Goodness knows, there have been days when I’ve been in worship when I would have preferred to be somewhere else. And I feel certain that the same can be said for people each and every Sunday. Every Lord’s day when we gather, there are those who have had very trying and difficult experiences during the week. There have been those who prayed asking for some boon from the Lord, only to get a “No”, or maybe no answer at all. And that can be hard to take. Others struggled in their relationships and may have had a fight with their spouse that very morning. Been there, done that.
There’s an interesting scene in Matthew 28 where Jesus meets with his disciples after his resurrection. The eleven (remember Judas is dead) show up on the mountain where Jesus will ascend, and as verse 17 says, When they say him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. What a strange comment! Have you wondered who it was that doubted? It was apparently more than just one, for it says, “some doubted.” Was it the majority or minority? What was it that they doubted? Were they still doubting the resurrection, even after several appearances? Were they doubting His divinity? Were they doubting that his flesh, as well as his spirit, had been raised? How long did the doubting continue? For an entire lifetime? Did it ever fully end? If so, when? We simply do not know. All we know, is that even though they were worshipping him, they still had doubt in their heart.
There is comfort to be found in that knowledge. There have been times I’ve sat in worship and had my doubts – times when I’d been wrestling with God and what kind of God He really was. At other times, I’ve doubted if He was there at all. Thank goodness, I’ve got company – some of Jesus’ own immediate disciples!
What does that tell us? It tells us that Jesus accepts our worship – with our frequent doubts. Jesus welcomed them, and their worship, even as their hearts and minds were filled with doubts! When you are struggling with your faith, you might be tempted to think that you should stay away from worship because you’d feel like a hypocrite. Don’t feel that way. If Jesus accepted the worship of his followers on the mountaintop (knowing their hearts and minds), he will accept yours that comes from a heart of faith – even if there are doubts living side-by-side with your faith.
PRAYER: Father, I thank you that you understand our weak faith and our doubting hearts and that you still welcome us and our worship. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2018 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>