Monday, October 6, 2014

What I Didn't See Before

One of the classes I'm taking this semester is Christianity in Western Culture. It has been a great class, opening my eyes to the historical context of the church and it has given me a broader understanding of my Christian heritage - with all its ups and downs.

Before this class, I had heard the Apostle's Creed maybe once or twice. I recall hesitating at a couple of the lines because I didn't understand them. But since I've been in this class, I see the weight and significance of such creeds. They are culture-changers. Those words can be words that people just say out of tradition or habit, but they can also be a confession of true belief from the heart.

When I saw these words at the beginning of the semester, they maybe didn't feel personal. We say this creed at the beginning of every single class though, prayerfully and thoughtfully. Our professor wants these words to feel familiar. No, it's not Scripture or God's Word, but it is a confession of faith that is valuable. These words have been passed down through generations and still have weight today.

And so, without further ado...

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

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
Who was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the Virgin Mary.

He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.

He descended into hell.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father.
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.


*This means the universal church. It is the church as a unified body of Christ. "Catholic" literally means universal and broad, so it includes all who believe in Christ as Savior. 


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