I Believe

Notes from the pastor

I Believe...

Dear Front Street Family,

       From the earliest time I can remember, we as a family have stood on cue in worship to recite the Apostles’ Creed.  “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.”  In the churches I attended, it was always done in unison, thoughtlessly by some, or with some intensity by others.  I witnessed the most bold and exhilarating confession while visiting a Ukrainian Baptist Church, in Kiev, Ukraine; when a church packed to overflowing stood and said the creed as if it were the pledge of allegiance being recited by those who were about to go into battle.  It is the creed I memorized as a young confirmand in order to become a professing member of the Dutch Reform Church.

There is something in the creed to offend virtually every contemporary sensibility.  In many ways it is subversive, especially in a culture that no longer believes in absolutes.  And yet, at the same time, it communicates a compelling vision of the world’s destiny and humanity’s role that challenges the accustomed idolatries and the weary platitudes of our current world order.

A legend circulated in the early church: after the Spirit descended on the disciples at Pentecost, Peter said, “I believe in God the Father Almighty.”  Andrew added, “And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord.”  And so they went around the table, a dozen disciples, a dozen sentences forming the Apostles’ Creed; a lovely (if not fabricated) legend.  “What the scriptures say at length, the Creed says briefly,” says Nicholas Lash.

Every time we say the Apostles’ Creed, we step into a long steady river, the great two-thousand year story of believers,  missionaries and martyrs.  When we say, “I believe in God,” we become part of something bigger than ourselves; something that forms the center around which we live and move and have our being.

In an age that no longer trusts ancient, established authorities, to stand in church and say the Apostles’ Creed is indeed a subversive activity.

Just a thought,

Pastor Ray
(May 26, 2016)
Last Published: May 25, 2016 2:17 PM
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