Today’s Reading: But after ten days from the ascension, which from the first Lord’s day is the fiftieth day, do ye keep a great festival: for on that day, at the third hour, the Lord Jesus sent on us the gift of the Holy Ghost, and we were filled with His energy, and we ‘spake with new tongues, as that Spirit did suggest to us;’ and we preached both to Jews and Gentiles, that He is the Christ of God, who is ‘determined by Him to be the Judge of quick and dead.’ Constitutions of the Holy Apostles: The Anti-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Writings of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, Vol. VII, 448.
In its simplest definition, a creed is a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s actions. When a baby comes out of a mother’s womb, it’s difficult to define any set ‘creed’ by which that child lives his or her first few hours on planet earth. I suppose at the truest gut level of the human existence, our tiny bodies utilize a ‘creed’ for survival which is as basic as, “Hey, here’s my belief. If I’m gonna survive…I need to find mom, ASAP!” In truth, eating, sleeping, peeing, and pooping just might be the first four doctrinal planks of any human being’s core ‘creed’ for successful living!
Fortunately, over time, a child grows up, and as his or her brain begins to mature, we move outside these guttural needs for self-nourishment, warmth, and safety and into the wonderful world of human interaction where our day-to-day decision-making comes into full play. And it’s here, we human beings begin assembling our basic creeds, or belief systems, by which we will live the remainder of our lives.
For most human beings, the idea of God’s existence becomes a major theme throughout life. Some choose early on to “believe” in God, accepting a basic creed (a system of belief) that surrounds that decision. Others wrestle with the subject for years, never really settling into a system of religious belief that is satisfying to them. Yet regardless of our personal experiences surrounding our own spiritual beliefs, like it or not, religious creeds play a huge part in the affairs of human beings, affecting, both positively and negatively, much of our day-to-day existence here on planet earth.
But, before we jump into our discussions on the existence of God, The Apostles’ Creed, and how all these things impact our lives, allow me to begin by taking a few steps away from the words of this ancient Christian statement of belief, and simply start with the importance of having a healthy, well-balanced “creed” (or belief system) firmly planted in our lives.
You see, if you or I subscribe to a creed of life that doesn’t extend much outside of our own existence, living our life out of a self-centered worldview, we will end up becoming a very self-consumed, self-seeking son-of-a-gun. Sadly, there are many around us who mature in body but don’t seem to go much beyond the “creed” of that new-born baby where life is all about the holy “me!” Yet, isn’t it interesting that those people who have accomplished the most good in this world seem to be those who have a much broader and healthier creed, or system of belief, that combines both the proper care of self (being aware of our own importance) while also caring for others?
Which now brings us to the very first word in The Apostles’ Creed.
The big “I.” The all-important “self.”
And it’s there we will pick up our conversation next time.
My prayer: Father God, as I begin this journey into The Apostles’ Creed, allow me to become much more self-aware of the basic “creeds” of life that I’ve adopted for my own journey. Reveal to me if my system of belief is under-developed, seeking only my own personal gratification at the cost of ignoring others. Grant to me a growing, healthy creed of life, where I not only care for myself, but I also am aware of the importance of those around me. For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to consider: When it comes to an inner creed (a system of belief), how would I define mine? Are there basic truths that are unshakeable in my life? If so, how might taking the time to write those non-negotiables down on paper be helpful for me going forward?
So, what are you experiencing today as we are Contemplating The Creed?
Over a seven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Apostles Creed. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Creed home page for ease of use.
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