Friday, October 16, 2009

Creedal confessions...

Last Sunday, our family stood in a row and recited the Nicene creed together with our local congregation, in unison with other congregations around the world, and indeed down through the centuries. I find particular delight in joining my voice with that of thousands of others, acknowledging my own infinitesimal part in something much, much bigger than myself.
However, I discovered something new this time, something I hadn't [perhaps consciously] noticed before: the language of the Creed is so highly propositional. It lists the things which we, together, claim to intellectually affirm. And while I'm all for intellectual understanding & inquiry & application, I hope that my faith is something more. I don't wish to take issue with the specifics of the creed; others have done so and will continue to do so "till the end of ages, Amen." What I'd like to see, though, is language that reflects a wholehearted devotion to this God, to this path, to this way of being. A more holistic approach, perhaps. Tiny adaptations, really, but changes that would alter how we interpret our experience and engagement. So here, as a trial run, is a way in which I might like to recite the Creed someday:
The story of my people begins with one God,
the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
Our life is grounded in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We are sustained by the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father and the Son.
With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We find life and love in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We participate in one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look with hope for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

(Image in use extensively across the web; I was unable to locate the original source.)