|Image Source: Tim Marshall|
At Wesley Methodist Church, we have been studying the Apostle's Creed during the Lenten period, breaking down each line of the creed in detail each week leading up to Easter Sunday.
The Apostle's Creed is a statement of Christian belief, based on what the apostles of Jesus Christ taught.
At our Sunday worship services at the Seminary we sing or recite a Zulu version of the Apostle’s Creed. This is a practice that is common in most African churches as well as many Western churches.
The danger with reciting these creeds so regularly is that they can become familiar to us, losing their ultimate meaning in the process.
I wonder whether we sometimes recite these church creeds without thinking about the words that we are saying. I know that personally I am often guilty of this.
Hillsong Music wrote a song titled This I Believe (The Creed) which is their personal adaptation of the Apostle's Creed.
Here are the words of the Chorus:
I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus
The words are simple, but so powerful.
I remember when I first heard this song - I was so moved by it. I was going through some struggles at the time and while singing this song didn’t fix any of my problems, there was a real sense of peace that came over me as I sang these words in the midst of my pain and sorrow.
These words reminded me of who I believe in and restored my hope for whatever my future may hold. Just proclaiming my belief in God brought me confidence in facing the future.
We see this happening throughout scripture as well. The author of Psalm 140 was clearly going through an incredibly tough time. And halfway through the psalm he boldly declares, “You are my God.”
Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
protect me from the violent,
Who devise ways to trip my feet.5
The arrogant have hidden a snare for me;
they have spread out the cords of their net
and have set traps for me along my path.
I say to the Lord, “You are my God.
- Psalm 140:4-6
This is what makes the words of the Creed so powerful and real in our lives. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, good or bad, we can still stand firm in the truths and promises of our God.
The declaration we make with our mouths can impact our present. Are we declaring that life is too hard? Or are we declaring that we worship the Creator of the Universe who knows and loves each and every one of us?