Pastor’s Ponderings

Affirmations of Faith
Two years ago, prior to Covid 19, on one Sunday each month during our worship service as a church family we recited together an Affirmation of Faith. Our United Methodist Hymnal lists ten Affirmations of Faith. The Worship Design Team has decided that we will follow the United Methodist Book of Worship and continue the practice of affirming our faith on the third Sunday of each month by reciting an Affirmation of Faith as our Opening Prayer. I feel blessed that the Claybanks United Methodist Church recognizes that it is important for us to continually look at and profess our beliefs as Christians and as United Methodists.

The word “creed” comes from a Latin word credo, meaning to believe, trust, and entrust. Creeds are often compared to a mustard seed. Just as a mustard seed contains a great number of branches in a tiny grain, so too creeds are summaries of faith encompassing in a few words the whole knowledge of what a Christian life should contain and believe as we profess our learnings from the Old and New Testaments.

Affirmations of Faith Creeds are considered essential to us as Christians and to the church. These Affirmations, which are part of church doctrine, have helped us establish firm patterns of Christian faith throughout the centuries. The Nicene Creed and a shorter version, The Apostles Creed, are our essential definitions of the true Christian faith, with much of the original forms of these creeds thought to have possibly come directly from the original apostles themselves. These two creeds have often been called “Symbols of the apostles.” The name of the creeds comes from the fact that, both are composed of twelve articles.  It had been believed that they could have been possibly written by the twelve apostles, as each of the apostles were supposed to have contributed an article under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, after Pentecost. Today most theologians now believe that the long-held legend is not supported by ancient writings. Yet, because of many writings and works of the apostles, we must agree that these two creeds have roots in apostolic times, and they reflect with much integrity of the apostles’ teachings and writings. The many different creeds that are now a part of our Christian liturgy are used not only in liturgical settings, but they also are used for teaching purposes. When someone joins the Christian Church, at the time of their baptism or confirmation, quite often they are asked, “Do you believe in God the Father Almighty, do you believe in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting?” By answering yes, we recognize our affirmations as official statements of faith in the Christian Church.

Many Affirmations of Faith contain these two elements: Doxological Confession and Proclamation of the Gospel. During the next few months, we will look at different aspects of our Affirmations of Faith as we continue to grow spiritually in our faith journey through our many different learning experiences, guided by power of the Holy Spirit.

Peace and Blessing,

Pastor Gary

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