In every Divine Service we say “the Creed”, usually the Apostles when there is a baptism and the Nicene Creed when we are receiving the Lord’s Supper. We often do it because it is “part of the service” but it’s meant to be much more.
These two creeds and the Athanasian Creed are the creeds of the Church, the great statements of the Church’s faith. Each of these creeds has its own strength. The Apostle’s Creed is a clear and concise outline of Christian doctrine. With it we confess faith in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The Nicene Creed pays special attention to Christ’s divine nature which is present along with His human nature. With it we confess Christ as the God-man savior from sin.
The Athanasian Creed takes on the massive task of explaining both the wonder of the Trinity and the miracle of Jesus’ two natures. With it we confess what we cannot comprehend about the God who created, redeemed and sanctified us.
When we confess the creed in church we confess our faith with one another and to one another. We share the faith and we share in the faith with one another. We fill up with the words of the faith. We learn the faith and we speak the faith. It is a teaching moment and a time of encouragement.
In church we are speaking out faith to our family and friends. Then we take the faith we have learned and share what we believe with family and friends at home, work, school and in the neighborhood. Using the creeds as a guide we take the Church’s confession to heart. Then we speak the faith and share it as our faith, as our words and in our own words.
So with the Creeds we confess, we learn, we share and we encourage. Also with the help of the Creeds we can take our faith into the world and share its blessings with all around us. May God give us the opportunities and the courage and words to meet them.
Rev. Don Stock is the Associate Pastor at St. Paul's Ev. Lutheran Church in Munster, Indiana.
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