faith-seeking-understandingDoubt. It is the nagging question. The uncertain factor, the unknown. The tickle at the back of your throat.

It keeps you up at night, wondering if you have made the right choice. If you’ve been played the fool.

Doubt, often seen as the antithesis of faith. If you don’t have faith, if you don’t believe then you must be doubting.

We see it as a sign of weakness, we do not want to admit when we have doubts. Our preference is to appear strong and confident, not weak and insecure. We fear that voicing our doubts will erode our credibility and diminish our worth.

However, doubt is not the antithesis of faith. Instead doubt is a crucial part of faith. It is when we doubt aspects of our faith that we ask questions about that very faith. We push and we probe. We engage in conversation, we engage scripture and we pray.

Doubt then does not diminish our faith. Instead doubt supports and strengthens our faith.

Saint Anselm of Canterbury (1033–1109) was a Christian philosopher and theologian. He is considered to have coined the phrase fides quaerens intellectum, ‘Faith Seeking Understanding’. When we doubt we seek deeper understanding of our faith.

Text: Mark 8: 31-38

Questions for Sunday

  • What does Peter doubt in this story?
  • How does Jesus’ and Peter’s understanding of the Messiah differ?
  • What do you understand Jesus as the Messiah to mean?

Prayer for Sunday

Eternal God, may your word be ever upon my lips. Provide new ways for me to hear your word and understand your purpose in my life. Fill me with desire to ask questions of you and my purpose in creation. Journey with me in life as my constant and faithful companion. In Jesus name. Amen.