My Truth

Sunday, I attend a service at my local Anglican cathedral. The light, the music, the echoes, the history, the footsteps from so many generations – this all fills me with awe and wonder. The presence of the holy, the eternal breath, the heartbeat of the universe fills the magnificent space.

My Truth

But the words, they make me tremble. I remain silent during much of the responsive reading, especially during ‘The Creed’. I wonder if those gathered think about the words and claim them as their ‘truth.’ I do not, yet my faith is strong and palpable here and now.

What do I believe? As I hear the cathedral congregation utter the Nicene Creed, I consider what I agree with and what I don’t agree with, what I believe and what I don’t believe.

The Nicene Creed

Standard = What I believe.

Strikethrough = What I do not believe.

Italic = What might be believable, for me, if it were unpacked.

We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
[Choose ‘Jesus, the son of God’ or ‘the Christ’]
eternally begotten of the Father,,
God from God, Light from Light,
trueGod from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us men 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;
[Not sure about this; it’s not central to my faith.]
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 believe in 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 worshipped and glorified.
He has spoken through the Prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. Amen.

What am I left with? I extract from the creed what I can truthfully claim to believe – a short, simple statement of faith.

We believe in one God,
the Almighty
maker of heaven and earth,
of all that is, seen and unseen.
We believe in Jesus
the son of God,
Light from Light,
crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the giver of Life,
who has spoken through the Prophets.
We acknowledge one baptism.
Amen.

But there’s so much more!

I believe in a God that calls us to
Act justly and love mercy,
To be co-carers for creation,
To speak for the voiceless and carry the lame.
To wave the flag of freedom where there is oppression.
To actively oppose powers and principalities that uphold evil.
To walk humbly with God,
A God of many names and many faces.
Always.
Each day.
Each breath.
Ever grateful for the opportunity
to shine the light of God’s love and hope
into all creation.

What do I believe? I’m grateful I grew up in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) USA which espouses, ‘No creed but Christ.’ “Unlike most other churches, we Disciples do not have an official doctrinal statement we can refer to when someone asks, 'What does the Christian Church believe?'", explains Disciples General Minister, Kenneth Teegarden. I am grateful that no one demanded I use their words or their metaphors, or that I utter set doctrinal claims.

What do I believe? What do you believe? How wonderful that divine truth continues its revelation to each of us in a language we understand, and in words and images we can believe.

(Image: By Unknown author - [1],[2], Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/...)

Comments

BenWhitney

Thank you for this Ana. I too find so much, perhaps even more than you, inaccessible. From time to time I attend an inclusive Church in inner-city Wolverhampton which has a wide range of people, including refugees, asylum seekers etc. I can't affirm all of the language but the fellowship still keeps me hanging on.

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