Sunday, March 30, 2008

What do we believe?

In my Christian Discipleship class at Nazarene Theological Seminary I have been asking that question a great deal. What do we believe? How well do we convey what we believe to those new to the faith and to children. I've also been giving some thought to catechism, and the valuable teaching and integration of faith that it provides. So many of us know stories about Jesus/God, but how many of us know the Story of God? That narrative that transcends time from creation through the present on into infinity where God has set out a plan to "make all things new." We know stories of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, Solomon, Jesus, and John the Baptist. But how does all of that fit together? And how do we live the message that is contained within all of those stories?

The Apostle's Creed is a pretty good summary of the basics of Christianity. Sadly, in many of our churches, we do not recite the creeds any longer. If you haven't read it lately or heard it, here is the modern English version to reflect upon:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. AMEN.

And if you feel up to it, Rich Mullins did an excellent job of putting the Creed to music. The link is below if you want to listen.

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