Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Apostles' Creed- Jesus

Continuing with the Apostles’ Creed, I want to comment more on what we are doing with it. I said at the outset that some thinkers say that we don’t know what we believe until we say it. I’ve thought a lot about that. Why is that? Is it because we are more committed to what we believe when we put it into words in public? A wedding is real when, in front of God and everybody, the bride and the groom say: “I will…”

Maybe that’s part of it, but I think there’s more. I think that there is something about our mouths and our voices that seals the deal. Now, the Bible teaches us to be careful about our tongues. Read the Book of James. The tongue is compared to a rudder on a large ship. It’s a small thing but can steer the whole body. Use it carefully.

So, our mouths, our tongues, are instruments of expressing our deepest convictions. We are living in a time when it is getting more and more difficult to say: “I believe in God…” Just say it out loud. Or, say in a group some time when you don’t know the folks well. See what reaction you get.

Even more difficult to say out loud, “I believe in Jesus Christ…” To believe in Jesus these days is to invite ridicule from some. Admittedly, we are living in the Bible belt, so there are a lot of church folks around us. And, we are likely to be friends who are also Christians. But, there are a growing number of people who are not just non-Christians but are hostile to any mention of Jesus.

A creed reminds us of the importance of declaring with our mouths our convictions. Sunday, I said that we believe in Jesus Christ as a human being, as someone who has experienced all of life, even life unto death. Yet, in him was more of God than we have ever seen before. God was in Christ, says Paul, reconciling the world to himself. Jesus gives us the gift of redemption. He, mysteriously, in the cross, gives us God’s love is its fullness. He is the one who seeks to set things right. We’ve messed up, that’s for sure. Jesus comes to make it right again.

Jesus is also the King of Kings. He is exalted. He who descended also ascended to the right hand of God, and will come again to judge the living and the dead. On the third day, he rose from the dead triumphant over sin and death. In victory, Jesus gives us new life, abundant life, eternal life. If…if we go through the gate, the door, that is Jesus.

Jesus is the one who has done something about death forever. All who choose to be in his company, to respond to his love, to accept his gracious gift, are assured of life forever.

Jesus is the one who calls us into the future. He calls us home. Say it out loud: “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord….”

See you in Church!
Dave Nichols

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Welcome

Thanks for checking out my blog. I'm new to this, as you can probably see. But, I, like you, have convictions and ideas worth sharing. I hope this will be an opportunity to connect with others who are Christian and/or religious. I am happily United Methodist. I am committed to the basic teachings of our church, and to the compassionate outreach to the world.

I hope these pastoral ponderings will generate something in you that is hopeful.
Blessings!
Dave

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About Me

A graduate of Newberry College and Duke University Divinity School.  I have served as a pastor in the United Methodist Church since 1975.

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