As I walk through Holy Week this year, I have to admit I am a little nervous. Every year I eagerly anticipate these final steps on the path to Easter Sunday, and relish the chance to walk through Christ’s final days as part of the local and global church. But this year is different. I have spent the past few months walking alongside friends experiencing doubt, and understanding what doubt looks like in my own faith. As Holy Week has drawn closer, a small part of me has been wondering if the celebration of Christ’s victory over death will lose its power over the unresolved questions floating around in my head.
As I have engaged doubt I have at times seen the cross in muted colors. Prayer, worship, communion—they all begin to feel like going through the motions, like these practices have lost some of their power when I cannot put the full force of faith behind them. It is so tempting to believe that my belief defines reality.
When my church gathers around the communion table, these words are often part of our liturgy: “We come to this table not because we are full of faith, but because he is faithful.” They come from 2 Timothy 2:13: “If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is.” Every time I speak them, they fill me with hope. They remind me that God isn’t limited by my understanding of him. I’ve come to realize that there is no need to fear doubt. We go through this process so we can know him better and to see his reality more fully. These words are humbling, and they are comforting. They provide us something to cling to in times of uncertainty.
So many times over the past few months I have asked myself what it means to walk alongside friends who are experiencing doubt. I have always known my spiritual gift is faith. I struggle plenty in my Christian life, but I have always felt God’s existence, his presence, and his love. To me, faith is so personal and so deeply felt in the core of my being that doubt has never been a weighty struggle for me. Because gifts are meant to be used to edify the community of believers, I want more than anything to use this gift and personal revelation to serve people who are searching for faith.
This weekend, we recognize that Christ’s sacrifice is real and is powerful, even when we don’t feel it. We are only able to do this in a community of faith when we join together with other people whose faith can sustain us while we search for our own, and can repeat the truth to us until we believe again.
So even when we can’t quite fit together all the pieces, we can celebrate fully the miracle of the Resurrection. Even if we don’t feel it, at this moment, know what we believe it is true: Because he who is faithful cannot deny himself.