What it means to ‘see and believe’ or indeed, ‘to not see and believe’ for Christians today.

Rev. Philip’s musings

 Riffing off the top of my head, we live in a world of ‘fake news’, ‘deep fakes’, ‘if there’s no picture or video, it didn’t happen’, so if anything, the need to see to believe is even greater today. And yet we can’t always see to believe. What does the Kingdom of God breaking through look like? What does the Good News look like? What does this resurrection life look like? Perhaps my real question, and it perhaps remains a question, is how do we recognise the resurrection today, here and now?Rev. Philip Newton Hope UCA

My Response

Andrew Blair Preaching at Hope uniting Church of Australia - Maroubra Junction.
Taken by Jessica with a Heat Sensitive Camera

Today different concepts of sight and belief are in play where what we see and believe are not always on the same planet, country or in the same room with us. I saw Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, on the T.V. set in the Science Lab in 1969 and I believed my eyes; did I believe it because I saw it via official media relay or did, I believe it because it was on TV.? Today the closest we may come to seeing anything that confirms the latest word about town is to experience it via the news Media by radio, television, or YouTube on the computer but, in Philip’s words ‘if there’s no picture or video, then it didn’t happen’.

I have to say that I believe very little news-wise until time has told, as we used to say because there are so many Fake News reports, half-truths and deliberate obfuscation of the Facts. Added to this seeing it read from the News Reader’s desk is just so much hearsay.

 From Empiricism, the use of our five senses to confirm the existence of – history has brought us to a new age of quasi-empiricism where we use one or two senses to watch or listen to something – second-hand- – and then we believe what we have remotely seen. Or not. Thomas would just not approve and there would not be guaranteed proof of Resurrection.

These days we have an even greater need for personal experience so that belief is incontrovertible. But what do these experiences look like? How do we recognize the breaking through of the Kingdom of God? In the present time, what does resurrection look like anyway?

From the liturgy for Easter 2A


The resurrection was first discovered by the friends of Jesus who stood in grief outside his tomb.

Resurrection turned despair into life.

It was discovered again by a group of Jesus’ discipleswho had known the loss of all they had known.

Resurrection turned fear into hope.

It was discovered again by black South Africans when apartheid was dismantled.

Resurrection turned injustice into liberation.

It was discovered again by the people of East Timor who fought for independence.

Resurrection turned oppression into freedom.

It’s been discovered again whenever someone has found the space to love after being hurt, has found the courage to begin again when it seems life has ended.

And that gives us faith to believe resurrection will happen…in Palestine and Israel.

We have faith to believe resurrection will happenin Brussels, Paris, Iraq and Syria, Yemen and Turkey.

We have faith to believe resurrection will happenin refugee camps in Kenya and Chad, and for asylum seekers here in Australia and abroad.

We have faith to believe resurrection will happen in the systems that crumple and oppress.

We have faith to believe resurrection will happen in the lives we know are shattered and the hearts we know are broken.

may the resurrection come.

may the resurrection come.


 Cheryl Lawrie in Newton, R.P. (n.d.). Hope Uniting Church – Easter 2A 2023.