“I believe in God, the Father almighty.”
Dear People of God,
The above is a quote from the first line of the Apostles’ Creed. The Creed is named such because for the longest time it was thought that each of the apostles had contributed an article to it. Few hold to this claim today. What matters is not who wrote the Creed. What matters simply is that it agrees with apostolic teaching. Meaning, it agrees with the teaching of the apostles. It is paramount that whatever we do and believe as Christians, that it does not stray from the apostles—who are so-named for being sent by God as direct witnesses of Christ’s bodily resurrection.
We today, do not have the privilege of being a direct witness, we rely on their testimony. Some have come to think we can create our own Christianity, and have no need for such relics of the past. But, dear people, we wouldn’t be here today without the apostles. And, we have treasures beyond measure with the simple words of the Apostles’ Creed—known as the “children’s creed.”
I’ll take up the first part of this line, “I believe in God, the Father.” What does this mean? It means many things. God the Father, our heavenly Father, is the one who began all things. Before him, not one and nothing else existed. God chooses to be addressed as Father because he wants to endear us to him with his gentle and kindly heart. He is not like the fathers of earth who often fail and let us down, and in some cases cause lifelong harm. No, this Father, this heavenly Father, is one on whom we can rely and depend—who seeks after us when we are lost, and wants nothing but our good.
God the Father, the first person of the Trinity, provides for us, sustains us, and keeps us through all things. Now, the first line of the Creed also includes the word almighty. In our day and age “almighty” might better be rendered “All-Powerful” so that the line goes “I believe in God, the Father All-Powerful.” In times like this, we would do well to know and acknowledge that God is indeed the all-powerful one.
COVID-19 is not all-powerful. Disease and death are not all-powerful. Political decisions and differences are not all-powerful. Financial losses are not all-powerful. Fear and anxiety are not all-powerful. People who hate, hurt, or harm are not all-powerful. None of these are worth being shackled too. It is only One who gets this title and is worth being shackled to. When the opposite seems to be true, know that God has not abandoned you. And, he does it in the most unlikely of ways.
Through Jesus the Christ, God the Father, expresses what true power is—in weakness, suffering, and death. It is in the form of a cross-shaped love that God has deigned to dwell with humankind. Through suffering and the cross God makes himself known to be a God who is for you. Now nothing you go through is done alone—God is with you every step of the way. The resurrection of Christ is also a promise of your own resurrection. Where one day all tears will be wiped away, all things made right, and all gloom extinguished. This is the teaching of the apostles.
Peace and joy,
Pastor Levi Powers