I believe in the God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth…
We say it every week in worship, right after the hymn after the sermon. We know where it falls every week, and we know when it is our turn to begin the ritual.
“Let us say what we believe.” So we begin saying that we believe in God and somewhere about the time we mouth “creator of heaven and earth” our brains are moving on. Like the Lord’s Prayer, the Apostle’s Creed is one of those sets of words that we say a lot but in reality don’t pay much attention to, despite the awesome power those words convey. Do we realize what we are saying here?
Do we realize that we are placing our belief in one God in three persons, whatever that means?
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord…
Do we realize that with these words we are declaring that we follow Jesus and Jesus only, not any powers of this world nor any powers in the spiritual world other than the one who died on a cross in Palestine in the first century?
Do we realize that we are saying that we believe in the virgin birth, the movement of Jesus from Earth to the place of the dead (“sheol” in Hebrew and “Hades” or “hell” in Greek) on his way to rising from the dead, and that he will come again?
Do we realize that we are saying this with Christians from every time and place, those who say it openly and those who whisper it behind closed doors?
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,…
Do we realize that believing in the Holy Spirit means the Spirit might actually act in and through us to transform the church and the world? Do we want that, really?
Do we realize the covenant we are making here? Do we realize the awesome responsibility we are undertaking, to commune with the saints and to actually forgive those who hurt us?
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Do we realize just how radical this statement of faith truly is? Just how hopeful this truly is? Just how faithful?
Do we realize that we are committing to live differently, to live as if there is more here than what we know here or see here or feel here?
Do we believe this?