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The creeds of the early church
preserve the faith of the apostles
who first preached the Gospel of Christ.
We receive them as a legacy
in which the true interpretation of the Scriptures
The Church is built on the stories of faith of each living generation. It is the accumulated reservoir of living witness to the work of God in people’s lives.
The early church began with the experience of the resurrection of Jesus. We don’t know precisely how they experienced it and what happened, but we know from the Bible that these experiences were good news. This good news changed their lives. They went on to proclaim this life-changing good news. We read in Acts that the Holy Spirit propelled them in their proclamation and building up of the community of faith.
People like St. Paul put into words the meaning of these experiences of faith, and what the content of this good news was all about. Many of these words are preserved in our current New Testament. We study these words because we believe they convey truth about what life in the good news is all about, including and especially for our own lives and times.
The early church tried to put into understandable words what this faith experience was all about. These words were preserved as creeds. It was their articulation of what the early experiences of faith meant. When we read the early creeds, we try to understand the experiences behind the words. Those words are a legacy to us, to reflect on the ongoing work of the Spirit in the lives of every generation.
We too need to reflect on our own experiences of faith. As Rev. Kim preached in the sermon last week: we need to remember when God has been present, then put into words and expression how God was present, and how that has affected our lives. We need to give expression to our own experiences of God and faith. When we do so, current and future generations will receive our lived experiences as a legacy of faith.
I encourage all of us, but especially the older ESM members among us, to reflect more deeply on how God has been present throughout your life – through good moments and difficult moments. How has God been present in your life? How does that shape the way you view your life now? Try to give expression to your reflections. Then let us share our reflections with one another. This is how we can become together as a spiritual community.
Our own articulations of faith will be the legacy upon which this community is built, and on which we carry forward our ministry to the world around us and to generations to come.
Dear God, help us to see how you have been present in our lives, and give us the words to express how you have been real in our lives.