A creed for right now.
I struggle to understand the suffering in our world that is inflicted by natural disasters. Or disease. Or the actions of other living creatures. But,
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.
I battle hard against language of authority and hierarchy, and get defensive at anything that suggests submission. Sometimes it’s just my pride, and sometimes it’s a valid repulsion, but either way,
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
Around Christmas, it can get wearing to keep laughing at the teenage pregnancy, “convenient miracle” jokes. It’s tempting to give up and call it a theological story rather than a historical one, but the truth is,
I believe he was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
I cringe at songs that I used to belt out with sheer joy. I shrink back from words like “wrath”, and “punishment”, and “satisfaction”. I’ll do anything to avoid the language of a cold transaction. In truth, I couldn’t claim to fully understand the significance, but still,
I believe he suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
I’m getting increasingly uncomfortable with the fact that whenever we talk about the resurrection, it’s an attempt to prove it was a historical event. I wonder if, for all our focus on evidence and tangible proof, we’ve missed the point. But at the heart of it,
I believe on the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
There’s an instinct in me that says I can’t overestimate the mercy of God. I can’t believe I could imagine a love and forgiveness bigger than God’s. I’d much rather read Jesus’ words on money than on hell. But I still trust there are wrongs to be righted, and when I look at the injustices of the world, I trust that God will not allow them to triumph. So,
I believe he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Though I’m quick to judge other people’s expressions of faith as disingenuous or over the top, especially if someone dares to raise their hands when I’m not in the mood,
I believe in the Holy Spirit.
It winds me up, it pains me, it causes me to despair. But I’ve found there’s something deeper than my feelings. It’s a global community where I’ve discovered what ‘home’ means, and I couldn’t be more grateful that,
I believe in the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints.
I wish I could eat words, reverse time, kick habits and take it back. I wish I made better decisions, considered consequences, lived less selfishly. For the times I don’t, I deepen my intimacy with regret. But despite all the things I might deny, I can’t ever turn my back on grace,
I believe in the forgiveness of sins.
Though I’m scared of death and even more so of eternity, though I can’t imagine a new heaven or a new earth, and though I don’t know if I even want this body for now let alone forever,
I believe in the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.