I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord (II)

Reading: I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord (Apostles Creed)

Reflection: I try to use this creed, the Apostles’ Creed, at least once each day as part of my prayer times. Although these words are not my own, I’ve come to appreciate the reality that prayer is too important for me to do it on my own. Attempting to sustain a life of prayer based on my own thoughts and ideas, no matter how close to God or how filled with His Spirit I may be, simply leads me to re-cycle my own spiritual pathologies. It’s not enough; I need more. I need the help of those who have gone before me. I need the wisdom of the Ancients. I need to learn from some dead people!

And so, I come to this statement; this article of faith; “I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,” and pause to breath and consider again the enormity of it. To say; “I believe,” can often mean that I give mental ascent to some propositional truth, something that is very much in my head – a belief! The Bible says it, I believe it, and that’s that. But no; this statement demands much more of me, it won’t allow me to stay in my head. Here we proclaim that the man, Jesus, was God’s only Son. A s in the way that other people are not His sons and daughters. We are, certainly, sons and daughters of the Living God (Ps 82,6) but in Jesus of Nazareth, God stepped into humanity, into our broken and hurting World. God in our midst, God embodied; as the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews put it; “The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Heb 1,3).
So, how can I stay in my head, with my belief? This is the God who became what I am so that I could become what He is, as the Church Fathers understood it. This is the God who, in this Incarnation, this pitching of His tent within human history, crossed the Universe, went into the bushes (Gen 3,8), where we were hiding in our sickness and shame, found us, brought us out, healed and restored us. This statement requires my body, my whole self. To say the Jesus is Lord means I must live as if He is Lord, as if He is the King.

This article of the Apostles’ Creed is essentially an expansion of what may have been the earliest Christian confession; “Jesus Christ is Lord” (Phil 2,11). A simple, yet dangerous, proclamation that Caesar was not Lord, because Jesus was. This was not something our ancestors in the faith simply believed in their heads. The Good News that Jesus was, and is, the King was what they gave themselves to, gave their allegiance to, lived and died by. In proclaiming that Jesus is Lord, we enter into the new reality where He is the King. The strange and wonderful reality of the Kingdom of God, a Kingdom which is fully present but not yet fully revealed.

Prayer: Father, with my wavering belief and my stumbling faith, I reach out to you today and bend my life towards your Kingdom. Lord Jesus Christ, you are my King; strengthen me to live as if this were true. Spirit of God, draw me into fellowship with my Father and my Brother, that I be truly alive. Amen

Photo by Pars Sahin on Unsplash

Posted in Daily devotionals.