A post Christmas Carol……
I love Victorian ghost stories. They are spooky, but in a lesson affirming kind of way. The most famous of these is a Christmas Carol, in which Scrooge goes on a spiritual journey whilst having the living daylights scared out of him, but Dickens wrote lots of these stories for eager Victorian audiences. This was a time when Science, the Industrial revolution and hard facts were coming to the fore, and people longed to cling also to the spiritual, the supernatural and “the other worldly”. In this day in age, many of us can relate to the tug and pull they felt. I am in a job ruled by evidence and giving science based advice, but I also believe in an all powerful being who loves us, with no evidence to support this other than what is in my heart.
So, is faith and scientific evidence compatible?
Another famous Victorian ghost writer (my favourite), M.R.James, when asked whether he believed in ghosts said “I am prepared to consider evidence and accept it if it satisfies me”. What a wonderful response! Not all evidence is scientific, some comes from our feelings, our intuition and what God has placed in our heart.
As epiphany passes and lent approaches, we are encouraged to explore our faith. This is the evidence on which we believe, which is not physical or scientific but is based on what we feel within us as God speaks to us in our daily lives. Just as many of us struggle to understand and except physical and scientific truths (physics, Trump becoming president, Blackpool FCs inability to win a football match…), there are times when we also struggle with faith. But faith is a journey, just like Jesus’ journey into the wilderness in which we come to the truth of the Lord’s beauty and love.
Thomas believed because of the physical evidence placed in front of him, but Jesus promises us that however long our journey, we will be all the more blessed because we believe without having seen,
Yours in love and service