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Lent 2017: Together We Believe

Lent 2017: Together We Believe

One of the things I love most about Second Baptist is how we create space for one another. We seem to be a place where, mostly, people spanning the theological, philosophical and political spectrum find a way to share friendship with one another in loving, gracious and even humorous ways. I’m sure we can all agree our world needs more of this. We believe this is healthy and holy.

What’s more, our church seems to be a place where, mostly, people can bring their struggles, doubts and ever evolving beliefs without fear of judgement or rejection. This is also rarer than it should be among Christian communities. Questions and conversation are more than ok, they are welcomed here. We believe this is healthy and holy as well.

When we hold space for one another to bring our authentic selves into community, this is healthy and holy. When we listen first with curiosity and respond first with grace, this is healthy, this is holy and this helps our life together become incredibly rich. It is in this spirit that we enter our Lenten journey.

As we worship together this Lenten season, we will reflect deeply on the words of the Apostle’s Creed. We’ll hear the words and we’ll hear about the words. We do this not to create a point of exclusion, but rather growing conversation around some of the oldest and most distilled convictions of our Christian faith.

The word “creed” comes from the Latin word “credo,” which means “I believe.” The earliest Christian creeds were summaries of belief, simple statements of faith confessing “Jesus is Lord.” (In fact, we find Paul expressing just this credo in Romans 10:9 and in our baptistery each time someone is baptized in our church.) By the mid-second century the Greek word for fish, IXTHUS, was thought to have been adopted by some Christians as an acronym summarizing what Christians believe about Jesus. The letters of this word are the first in the Greek words for Jesus – Christ – God’s - Son – Savior. (Another credo we hear in worship with the presentation of gifts to baptismal candidates.) And around this same time the Old Roman Symbol, an early and fairly complete version of the Apostle’s Creed, was developed as a summary statement for the Christian faith.

The Apostle’s Creed likely reached its current form and name in the fourth century, and was often used to teach faith to new Christians in preparation for their baptism. In the early church, baptism often occurred at Easter, which may give our Lenten study of the creed an even deeper sense of meaning. I hope you’ll receive it that way. I hope this study, rooted in scripture and theological history opens us up to meaningful reflection, meaningful conversation, and meaningful encounters with the living God as we worship together. I pray this Lenten season will be one where, together, we will find ourselves re-embracing resurrection faith.

May it be so, Lord Jesus. Amen.

With resurrection hope,

Posted by Jason Edwards at 8:00 AM
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