Let us say what we believe
David Heim’s recent post
reminded me of how the creed is introduced in worship in the last two
churches where I’ve belonged. Immediately after the sermon the pastor
says, “Let us say what we believe” or “Let us confess our faith in the
words of the Nicene [or Apostles] Creed.” Then we all stand and say
what we believe.
At both churches, the pastors are sometimes
unorthodox or even just plain weird. But to the consternation of my
evangelical friends, who would never attend anything but a
“Bible-believing,” gospel-preaching church, I don’t think this matters
much. I grew up in Baptist fundamentalism. In college, I jumped around
from church to church looking for the best preachers, for sound Bible
teaching persuasively delivered by “men of God.” I frequently heard the
same few favorite texts from Paul, John and Revelation.
however, I go for the whole liturgy, steeped in the gospel. With other
believers, I worship God, confess sins and pray for the world. I am fed
the bread of life and cup of salvation.
No matter how good or bad, how orthodox or unorthodox the sermon is, I stand and say,
believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth. . .
.We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ. . . .We believe in the Holy
Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life.
The creed keeps our
faith centered on the most important things: the Trinity, the gospel,
the Eucharist and the scriptures, mediated by the lectionary of the
Preachers should be faithful to the word of God. But the cure of souls is not limited to the medicine of their message.