The Gullible and the Vulnerable

John 20:19-31

"Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe." 

This well-known story of doubting Thomas can be a troubling one. Is God asking us to believe any old thing without evidence? Couldn't that be unwise and dangerous?  

It seems obvious that we should be guarded about what believe without evidence. However, we also need to be guarded about refusing to take any kind of risks at all. Love, it turns out, requires risk. It requires not being certain. It requires a lack of fool-proof, empirically verifiable data. I mean, just think about how horrible it would be to try to boil down ‘love’ to empirically verifiable data. How sad! How mistaken! And yet this is precisely what makes love so challenging. How many of us have experienced the hard way how the vulnerability of love can lead to pain and to deep wounds. Many of us here this morning have experienced rejection and betrayal that make it so hard to ever trust enough again to love.

And yet, what’s the alternative to allowing ourselves to be vulnerable nonetheless? The alternative would be to lock our hearts away, committing to nothing that cannot be shown to be certain and tangibly, physically beneficial. The alternative is to cage and confine the very thing that makes our lives as humans wondrous and special.

You see, there is a mistake that is as bad or maybe even worse than believing too much without evidence. And that mistake is to refuse to believe anything without being fully assured. And that mistake seems even bigger because it prevents us from loving.