My intent in this series of columns has not been to explore What Would Jesus Do (WWJD), but What Would Jesus Undo (WWJU)? Over the past three weeks we’ve covered the topics of cheap grace, self esteem, and religion. In today’s column we’re exploring something very personal. If Jesus were to come and stand by your side, what would He want to Undo in you? Today we’re exploring doubt.
I suffer from all kinds of doubt.
I had doubt this past week that I’d ever close on my home refinance.
I have doubt the Minnesota Vikings will ever win the Super Bowl!
When they were putting on the rain tarps just before the 10th inning of the World Series, I was having serious doubt the Cubs would pull out the win.
I could go on listing the doubts I have about this life, but the doubt I want to address isn’t a doubt in a sporting event that took 108 years to win, but rather a doubt about a spiritual event that – with a “win” – determines where we’ll be spending eternity.
This doubt is a doubt that causes us to wonder, “Can Jesus really save me? Does Jesus’ death on the cross really forgive my sins? Does Jesus rising from the grave really mean so will I?”
These are the kinds of doubts Jesus wants to UNDO in me and you.
This past Sunday we celebrated an event in the lives of billions of people who’ve had this doubt undone in them. We celebrated “All Saints Day.”
In the fourth century, “All Saints Day” began as a day to remember those who had sacrificed their lives rather than their faith in Jesus as an encouragement to those still alive. In the seventh century this became a day to celebrate all those who had died in Christ - persecuted or not - to encourage those of us still alive.
“So, what, exactly, is a saint?” Well, according to God, there are two kinds of saints.
Someone who has died knowing Jesus as their Savior is called a “Saint Alone” because they no longer have a sinful nature. They’re holy, inside out.
The second kind of saint are those people still living who believe in Jesus. You believe in Jesus, you’re a saint. I know it’s hard to believe, but that’s because we’re not just saints, we’re “Sinner/Saints.” Even as a believer in Jesus, we still have a sinful nature. And whether you’ve learned this truth just now, or have always known it, with that truth – that you’re a sinner – comes doubt.
What we need - today and every day - is encouragement that no matter what we can count on living forever with the Lord and being reunited with those who’ve already died knowing Jesus as their Savior. That’s important. Not only because we miss our loved ones who’ve gone before us - but because the more we trust God and take Him at His word - the more we allow Jesus to UNDO our doubt.
Those who are “Saints Alone,” are also known as the Church Triumphant. Through their faith in Jesus they triumphed over Satan and all evil here. They finished their work here - and now they get to rest.
Those of us who are “Sinner/Saints,” are also known as the Church Militant. We’re still in the midst of this spiritual battle going on. We still have work to do. And while we do, God wants us at the top of our game. We’re at our best when we have no doubt.
Across time and space we honor all saints and give thanks to God for being a God of His Word. We recognize especially those loved ones who knew Jesus as their Savior - and are now Saints Alone - getting the rest they need and waiting to be reunited with us.
Maybe today is a day you can think on and honor one such saint. Not for them. They’re fine. But for you.
May Jesus undo
Live a Life that BEGS the question.
Rev. Dr. Martin J. Brauer is pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, 700 W. Whitestone Blvd., Cedar Park, TX. He lives with his wife, Leona, and dog, Tica, in Leander. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org