Notice that the text doesn’t say, “and when they had repented of what complete asses they had been; and when they had perfected their faith and the purity of their doctrine; and when they had achieved the right condition of personal morality, then they were worthy of receiving Jesus.”
No. There they sat. Fear, doubt, betrayal, and I suspect more than a little shame. But it takes more than locked doors and lack of faith and low self esteem to keep Jesus out. In fact, when we are at the point in life when our failings and shortcomings are so unfiltered when we are at the point in life when we have blown it completely, when we are so undeniably aware our need for God’s grace — it is then that God comes to us just as we are, bringing us peace and forgiveness. It’s just like God to barge in uninvited through our fear and locked doors to remind us, whether we like it or not, that we are forgiven, that we are more than the sum total of our bad choices and more even than the sum total of our good choices.
This whole thing is an example of what my friend Kae says about God: that God is always saying an insistent “yes” to all our polite “no thank yous.”….
So if you would like to protect your doubt I suggest keeping your distance from the following: Avoid people who have heard the Gospel and actually live as though it’s true. Avoid receiving the Eucharist or receiving forgiveness or receiving strangers. And by all means don’t sing hymns, for they are most dangerous. Politely say “no thank you.”
But know this: Whether doubt is something that you fear or something that you foster, be prepared for it to be tested again and again by this God who rudely barges into your locked doors and offers you peace and breath and spirit, and then sends you out to do the same for the world. God loves the world enough to keep saying yes to all of it’s no thank yous.
- Nadia Bolz-Weber. "God's Love Is Stronger Than Our Doubt," Sojourners.com
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