Sunday, June 28, 2009

B, Pentecost 4 Proper 8 - Psalm 130:1-4 "A Deadly Serious Business"

There were two men who became ill. The first man, Bob, took himself to the doctor after a couple of days of not getting better. When the doctor discovered Bob had pneumonia, he put him in hospital, administered antibiotics, and kept Bob under close medical supervision to make sure the drugs were working on the particular strain of pneumonia. Bob eventually made a full recovery at home faithfully taking the medicine prescribed by the doctor.
A second fellow was wheeled into the hospital too. Fred also had pneumonia, the same strain, yet he was on the verge of losing his life. Fred had spent a couple of weeks at home resisting the opportunity to go and see the doctor. Instead he got the latest advice from the internet and television news. He was sure he had the human swine flu — H1N1 Influenza 09.
Although he was as crook as he was, Fred had gone to the trouble of stealing some vials of vaccine and administering it to himself. Yet this only made his condition worse. Between the stress of stealing and misadministration of the wrong vaccine, Fred died a horrible helpless death. Fred's pneumonia became so critical that his whole respiratory system collapsed and his body was starved of the air. There was nothing much the doctors could do except what his life slip away!
Our health is serious business. Our bodies are susceptible to all types of illnesses these days. So many different things can go wrong with the human body. It seems new stains of viruses appear all the time. And no matter how vigilant one is, it's only a matter of time until one get's sick.
So let's say you get an illness; are you a Bob or a Fred? Are you a self-administrator, one who diagnoses and prescribes your own remedy? Or, are you one who goes to a doctor to get advice?
Now a self-administrator might get their diagnoses right some of the time, but they don't know everything there is to know about medicine. How do they really know they're helping themselves or making things worse?
But then again doctors don't know everything either! Yet they have been trained a certain way, to work through processes to narrow down and finally fix the problem, or at least help relieve the symptoms. If they don't know the answer they turn to the worldwide fraternal of medical minds to seek a solution.
People sought Jesus' help while he lived amongst humanity in the days leading up to his crucifixion. A synagogue ruler, an administrator of worship and responsibilities at the local Jewish gathering place, came to Jesus pleading for him to attend to his daughter who was dying. His name was Jairus.
So Jesus went to Jairus' house to heal his daughter who had since died. On hearing the she had died Jesus said to Jairus, "Don't be afraid; just believe!" (Mark 5:36)
What Jesus was saying was… don't fear death, instead fear me! Don't turn and give homage to death as are those mourning the death of your daughter, rather face me. Don't believe the power of death, believe be, commit yourself to the power of God! And in all power Jesus healed the little child with just two little Aramaic words, "Talitha koum!"
On his way to Jarius' house, a woman also came to Jesus seeking relief from a serious menstrual bleed which had gone on for twelve years. After seeing physician after physician all powerless to fix her body, remarkably she knew if she touched the corner of Jesus robe she would be healed.
Twelve torturous years of trouble treated with the touch of one's garment! Who'd believe that would work? But it did!
Jesus knew it did too! He felt the power of freedom leave him and give her instant relief from her bleeding. This woman knew his power of healing and fell at his feet in fear. She believed, and was healed; and her fear led her to come trembling before the one in whom she trusted. Therefore, Jesus sent her on her way commending the faith which gave her healing, fear, and trust. "Daughter", Jesus said, "your faith has headed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering." (Mark 5:34)
If one's health is serious stuff, Jesus' power is even more serious.
This fear the woman felt was not the same as the fear Jesus told Jarius not to have, in that her fear led her to fall before Jesus in submission, knowing his power over her. After all, he was the one who healed her after twelve years, without prescribing an ointment or doing anything.
Whereas, Jarius seeing his dead daughter, like any parent seeing their lifeless child, would have caused him to fear death and come face to face with its known power!
Although Jesus healed these people of their sicknesses, he was sent to heal a greater sickness. You see, our human illnesses, like those Jesus healed the woman and Jairus' daughter, mask the true illness which led Christ to the cross! This is a sickness he seeks to take from you too.
This is the sickness of sin. Jesus' power has to be serious because your sin and my sin is an eternally serious business. In fact it is a deadly business! Your life hung in the balance.
So to where do we turn in this seriously life threatening state of being? Take note to whom the Psalmist turns!
Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord; O Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand? (Psalm 130:1-3)
Out of the depths of sin the Psalmist seeks mercy from the Lord. He knows his sin and he knows its serious stuff. In fact, he knows its life threatening saying, "O Lord, if you kept a record of sins who could stand!
Your sinful being can't help but be a committer of sin. This is why Jarius' daughter died, why the woman suffered, and why you too suffer at times and someday will die. If you think sin is not serious, you're fooling yourself, it's deadly!
Sin is so serious no one would be able to stand in God's holy presence! Left to our own vices our sinful being is so shameful and septic not only would we fail to take a physical breath of air, and remain living ourselves, we would fail to exist before God.
Your sin, my sin, all sin, is completely contemptible before God! If Jesus needed nails to stand up under the weight of sin, what makes you think you can stand up under your own sin before God?
But the Psalmist continues, "But with you (Lord) there is forgiveness therefore you are feared." (Psalm 130:4)
When you and I are made to know our sin and it's eternally devastating deadly power, but also made to know the power of God and his forgiveness, that hung on the cross and comes through his word by the power of the Holy Spirit, then we fear God, knowing there is nothing else in all creation that we should fear.
So we return to Bob and Fred. But rather than comparing ourselves to their actions for the benefit of our physical health. Perhaps it's best if we ask the question of ourselves regarding our eternal health.
Do you diagnose yourself, your sinful actions, and your sinful nature? If you do, there's every chance you fear yourself, you believe in you, and you probably work very hard to fix yourself. If your being is eternally sick, surely your diagnosis and prescription will be sick too!
In fact, it will work out the same way as it did for Fred – fatally! Fred is dead because he killed himself by trusting himself with poor judgement. Judge before God, "Do you know what's good for you better than God does?"
On the other hand, there is Bob, convalescing at home, but he is alive. His airways are getting better, helped by the right diagnosis and prescription from the doctor.
Like Bob, know that your situation is serious, deadly serious. Let yourself be diagnosed by God, 'a sinner!' And know how bad it is! So bad sin causes death! But also know it caused Christ's death, he paid your price for sin. Sin is serious stuff!
But God's forgiveness is also serious stuff! Those who know how serious there sin is and therefore turn to God in fear, love and trust, also know God comes with holy healthy air in his Word by the power of the Holy Spirit.
So come seek his mercy! Know his ears are attentive to your cries for mercy! And he will continue to have mercy on you, eternally! Stand and continue to stand before the Lord, knowing that the record of your sin has been hung on the cross. God chooses to remember your sin no more!
Put your hope in the Lord because he is faithful to you in his unfailing love. His healing is eternal and complete, giving full redemption. For Jesus Christ, himself, is exchanging your sickness with faith, hope, love, and peace. So convalescing today you know someday soon you will be eternally freed from all suffering. Amen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

B, Pentecost 3 Proper 7 - 2 Corinthians 6:1-2 "Goliath Storms"

Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Remember this taunt from the schoolyard playground? The school yard bully or the little miss, with hands on hips and face screwed up hurling insults at you to win the war of words. Or perhaps it's the defence you used against your foe, at those times when life seemed to be a bit stormy.
We all have, and will, endure bad times, rough weather, stormy days or situations where we wish we'd stayed at home tucked up under a pile of blankets. However, once confronted with the onset of a storm — be it emotional, physical, mental, or spiritual — it's too late to retreat to the safety of a warm cosy place. One must decide what to do and respond quickly for any hope of a good outcome.
At the beginning of second Corinthians chapter six we hear, "As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says, "In the time of my favour I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)
When confronted by storminess of life Paul tells the Corinthians, who are in the midst of grave troubles, that now is the time. Not tomorrow or later on, but NOW!
That's quite interesting considering most of the time when we're faced with the onset of a life storm we'd rather panic and cry out to God, "Woe is me! What have I done to deserve this?" Surely at times like this we might think, God has abandoned us, departed from us, and left us to be torn to pieces with words or worse. Perhaps there's even a chance our bones will be dashed to pieces with sticks and stones! But God tells us otherwise, saying, "Now! Today, in the midst of the storm, is the day of salvation!"
As the disciples set forth across the Sea of Galilee. They were plunged into a storm. The Sea of Galilee was renowned for ferocious weather blowing up out of nothing. And because the lake was relatively shallow the waves became quite treacherous to small craft like the disciples' fishing boats.
Now if we were in the position the disciples were in, I'm quite sure we'd have wished we didn't get out of bed that morning! The boat was being flogged! Water was spilling in at an alarming rate! The boat was sitting lower and lower. The waves were getting higher and higher. Yes! We'd all have to agree they were in a spot of bother!
Yet where is Jesus to be found? We're told… 'Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, "Teacher, don't you care if we drown?" He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, "Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?" They were terrified and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"' (Mark 4:38-41)
Jesus must have been a heavy sleeper! Anyone who has ever tried to sleep while being tossed around on rough seas, knows it's near impossible. Yet, Jesus is peacefully sleeping when the disciples wake him, not to be saved, but rather to prepare him for imminent destruction.
But destruction is not forthcoming. Jesus commands the wind and waves, "Be still! Be silent!" And they listened! Picture that! The sea became a tranquil pond, in an instant!
However, the storm continued to churn inside the disciples as they fearingly asked each other, "Who is this?" They didn't realise God was with them, sleeping in the boat. Although the storm threatened, salvation and peace were imminent, at the hand of the Prince of Peace.
Notice they didn't ask Jesus to save them! Rather they thought he was going down with them. After Jesus calmed the situation, he addressed there lack of faith by asking why they were so afraid. A better translation would be; why they were so cowardly or timid.
In Mark's account of Jesus stilling the storm he makes the point that the disciples were in greater fear of Jesus than the storm, after he calmed things down. The original Greek spells this out by saying they feared with a mega-fear leading them to ask, "Who is this?"
Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. Perhaps we might say in stormy situations like that of the disciples, "Wind and waves may break my boat but the peace of God will never hurt me!"
David the young shepherd boy had occasion for mega-fear as he took his solitary position on the battle line against the mega-man Goliath.
However, unlike the disciples in the eye of the storm, he displayed childlike faith in he who could save him. In fact, David out shone the entire Israelite army and King Saul, whom all shook with fear at the prospect of facing Goliath.
But Goliath underestimated his opponent. What he saw was a boy with a sling and stones, and he cursed his nerve for thinking he could match him. Yet Goliath failed to see God and the faith of his boyish servant David, who boldly promised to not only take out Goliath but the whole Philistine army.
David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give all of you into our hands." (1 Samuel 17:45-47)
Here David stood against the archetypal bully, Goliath. And it's as if he taunts the Philistine, "Sticks and stoned may break my bones but the name of the Lord will forever hurt you!"
So it's with this confidence and trust in God… As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. (1 Samuel 17:48-50)
Knowing God's faithfulness David surged forward proclaiming by his actions, "I tell you, now is the time of God's favour, now is the day of salvation." Right there in the here and now of the threatening Philistine storm the hand of the hidden Lord revealed itself striking down Goliath and saving the Israelites.
In this story, David faces death on behalf of Saul and the Israelite army. This picture is a forerunner to Christ surging forward to fight death on behalf of us at the cross. And in the Lake Galilee storm, we can see ourselves and the church today tossed about like the disciples in the boat.
In both stormy situations Christ is present.
Because Christ is with us, and has already won the battle over sin and death at the cross, Jesus Christ promises us that every stormy day this side of eternal paradise is the time of God's favour; now, the present moment, is the day of salvation.
In this world we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. (Psalm 44:22) It might seem as though the church is sinking and Christ no longer cares! But the Good Shepherd has already entered the storm and won the battle for us.
It's time to wake up, open our eyes and see with faith he who is hidden in his church, rather than worry about the storms of life that come and go to test us.
Storms and strife may threaten my life, but trust in the Lord will never hurt me! Amen.

Friday, June 12, 2009

B, Pentecost 2 Proper 6 - 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 "Swallowed up by Life"

Samuel, the last of the great Judges of Israel; also a prophet and priest of the Lord is sent by God to the house of Jesse to anoint a new king for Israel. Because of Saul's disobedience the favour of God had departed from him and so too did God's envoy and mouth piece, Samuel. Rather God had in mind to anoint a young harp playing shepherd boy, David, the son of Jesse.
But before God revealed David to Samuel, Jesse's other seven sons appeared before Samuel. When the first son appeared, Samuel, who was sent to hear God and carry out his will, thought this was the son God would choose.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
And so after the seven sons appeared before Samuel, Jesse fetches David and God calls Samuel to anoint this meek youth with handsome soft features and a tender fresh face. Who would have thought this unassuming young boy would be the new king of Israel?
When we think of King David, we picture a man with great power, who had many military conquests and made Israel strong. However, David's origins were not as we would expect, the youngest son, relegated to living with the sheep in his father's fields. Yet from the moment Samuel poured the horn of oil on David's head, the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power. David was devoured with life from the Lord.
To be "swallowed up by life" is a phrase rarely heard today. One would expect to be swallowed up by death rather than life. To be swallowed up or devoured for us takes on negative connotations. But for this young boy David, he was swallowed up into a life of service under God. The life he was swallowed up into was a life of kingship.
As Christians we too have been devoured up by life. Salvation swallows us; we have been gulped up by God. Death once threatened to eternally destroy us but has now been destroyed itself. The death that would have devoured us has been devoured; it has been stripped of power and so too we have been devoured and stripped bare, only to be clothed in Christ.
In 2 Corinthians 5 we hear… Now we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.
Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.
Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. (2 Cor 5:1-8)
We Christians have had our mortality swallowed up by life. However, often we find ourselves seeking the clothes of mortality once again. We find ourselves in the midst of a tug-a-war between the desire to dress ourselves with possessions, success, wealth, acceptance, eternal youth and good looks, plus all the other things we see as advantageous, against the consummation of Christ and his robes of righteousness.
Our aspirations turn us to look at appearances, rather than seek what God seeks. Superficial things often lead us to seek regurgitation from the life that has swallowed us. Then we find ourselves clothed in all the things that are passing away leaving us standing naked before a God who is far from pleased with the nakedness of human sin.
When you see yourself craving worldly desires know that you are seeking to become naked before God once again. This is the way you once were! Surely it is better to remain swallowed by life, and covered with Christ. Therefore, confess your sin and hear God's word of forgiveness. His forgiveness is our assurance we have been clothed by Jesus' death and resurrection, and just as Jesus pleased the Father in heaven, we now stand confident in the God pleasing clothes of Christ.
We hear again from Paul… So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad. (2 Cor 5:9-10)
Just like David the shepherd boy who was ordained as the Lord's king over Israel, you too have been ordained as kings. Swallowed up by God you now bear Christ to the world. You are servant kings under Christ the Servant King. You don't do the serving yourselves though however, but Jesus does it in you while you allow the Spirit to consume you into Christ.
But there is a warning for us too. David was not the first king of Israel. Saul too was chosen by God. Yet he grieved God by not doing what God had commanded him to do and God turned his back on him. We too can grieve God by not allowing his Holy Spirit to continue his work of consuming our mortality with the life won for us at the cross.
If you reject faith — that is, you refuse God's faithfulness and work to swallow your sinful nature, and seek to live by sight once again — you put yourself in a precarious place. If you refuse to have your mortality swallowed by life, you shall have your mortality and it will swallow you. If you seek to live by sight and not faith, God too will sight your naked sinfulness, and spew you out of his mouth forever.
This is not the case though for you who dwell in the Kingdom of God! You have been consumed by God. So let your mortality be continually swallowed up; hear and believe the forgiveness with which God clothes you in Christ.
You might feel irrelevant in this world just like the mustard seed that starts off so small and seemingly insignificant. But by the grace of God it grows into the largest of trees. Because of Christ you are already a king in his kingdom, he seemed small and insignificant in this world too, but when Christ returns as the supreme King of Creation, you too will see him as he is and you will be revealed as the king he has redeemed you to be. Amen.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

B, Holy Trinity - The Athanasian Creed "We Believe"

Moses stood on Mount Sinai three and a half thousand years ago and saw the burning bush. There he received God's command to go to Pharaoh and seek release of the Israelites. Understandably after Israel hadn't heard from God for four hundred years, Moses asks…
"Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' " God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The Lord, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation. (Exodus 3:13-15)
In this generation God has given us his name, I AM. Our almighty God takes the simplest of names; he takes the name of a verb, the most basic of verbs in any language. The verb "AM" is from the verb "to be", and from it we get a family of verbs we use every day: be, am, are, is, was, were, been, and being.
Through the generations after God gave his name to Moses, people have been confessing their faith in the great "I AM". We as believers can use his name as a confession by saying, "HE WAS, HE IS, AND HE WILL BE!" In fact when we say what we believe, it is our creed. A creed is merely — what we believe. The word creed is from the Latin word credo which simply means to believe!
A "was, is, and will be" creed is very short and concise. Even more succinctly one can have a creed that states, "I believe". But one might ask, "What do you believe?" Therefore simple short creeds can confess one's faith in anything and can be open to misinterpretation.
Since the time of Moses, God has revealed himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So we confess God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who was, is and will be. In the church right from earliest of days people struggled with articulating what we believe about this three in one God. In the church we name this three the Trinity.
Gaining an understanding of the Trinity and how the three members co-exist is no easy feat. If we keep it at its most basic we might confess the Trinity "IS, WAS, and WILL BE". We might also confess the complexities of the Trinity as being, "One plus One plus One equals One". But because we humans are what we are, the church has had reason to defend what God was, is, and will be. And so today the one holy church has three ecumenical creeds!
The first of these creeds is the Apostles' Creed. Although named such it was not written by the Apostles although it is apostolic (therefore biblical and Christ centred) in its content. It emerged at the beginning of the third century, used in Rome as a baptismal creed. It still functions today as our baptismal creed, containing all the essential articles of the Christian faith necessary for salvation.
Then there is the Nicene Creed which more extensively explains what Jesus Christ, IS, WAS, and WILL BE; that he was, and is "eternally begotten from the Father". In it we also confess the Holy Spirit's being as "proceeding from the Father and the Son". The Nicene Creed in it's earliest form originated from the first ecumenical council at Nicaea in 325, and the form we still use today was approved by the second ecumenical council at Constantinople in 391. Traditionally we, the church, use this ecumenical statement of faith in services of Holy Communion.
Then the third and less known creed is the Athanasian Creed. It was not written by Athanasius but ascribes to where he and others stood against the heresy of Arianism. This is the heresy that Jesus Christ had an origin and therefore is not God as the Father is God. It is believed the Athanasian Creed was written in the second half of the fifth century by an Augustinian theologian.
Today the Athanasian Creed is usually only read on Trinity Sundays in the worship service. It is hard for one to get their head around it in one reading, it is deliberately repetitive to make its point, and statements at the beginning and the end prove to be a stumbling block without proper explanation.
However, in its length we thoroughly confess the Trinity's being and the incarnation of Jesus Christ. Let's hear the Athanasian Creed, keeping in mind that catholic means "the whole church seen and unseen gathered around the throne of God" and not Catholic with a capital "C" as in Roman Catholic.
(Whoever wants to be saved must, above all, hold the catholic faith. Whoever does not keep it whole and inviolate will doubtless perish eternally.)
This (, however,) is the catholic faith: that we worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the substance.
For the person of the Father is one, that of the Son another, and that of the Holy Spirit still another, but the deity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit is one - equal in glory, coequal in majesty.
What the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Spirit. The Father is uncreated; the Son is uncreated; the Holy Spirit is uncreated. The Father is unlimited; the Son is unlimited; the Holy Spirit is unlimited. The Father is eternal; the Son is eternal; the Holy Spirit is eternal - and yet there are not three eternal beings but one who is eternal, just as there are not three uncreated or unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited. In the same way, the Father is almighty; the Son is almighty; the Holy Spirit is almighty - and yet there are not three almighty beings but one who is almighty.
Thus, the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God - and yet there are not three gods but one God. Thus, the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord - and yet there are not three lords, but one Lord. For just as we are compelled by the Christian truth to confess that each distinct person is God and Lord, so we are forbidden by the catholic religion to say there are three gods or three lords.
The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten by anyone. The Son is from the Father alone, not made or created but begotten. The Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son, not made or created or begotten but proceeding. Therefore there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three holy spirits. And in this Trinity none is before or after, greater or less than another, but all three persons are in themselves coeternal and coequal, so that (as has been stated above) in all things the Trinity in unity and the Unity in trinity must be worshipped. (Therefore, who wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.)
But it is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore it is the true faith that we believe and confess that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is at once God and a human being. He is God, begotten from the substance of the Father before all ages, and a human being, born from the substance of his mother in this age. He is perfect God and a perfect human being, composed of a rational soul and human flesh. He is equal to the Father with respect to his divinity, less than the Father with respect to his humanity.
Although he is God and a human being, nevertheless he is not two but one Christ. However, he is one not by the changing of the divinity in the flesh but by the taking up of the humanity in God. Indeed, he is one not by a confusion of substance but by a unity of person. For, as the rational soul and the flesh are one human being, so God and the human being are one Christ.
He suffered for our salvation, descended into hell, rose from the dead, ascended into the heavens, is seated at the right hand of the Father, from where he will come to judge the living and the dead. At his coming all human beings will rise with their bodies and will give an account of their own deeds. Those who have done good things will enter into eternal life, and those who have done evil things into eternal fire.
This is the catholic faith (; a person cannot be saved without believing this firmly, and faithfully).
From this creed we begin to see how profound the Triune God was, is, and will continue to be. It is difficult for us to really understand the Trinity. But thankfully we do not have to understand but just believe. It will only be when we open our eyes to the unseen realm in eternity that we will fully understand. In fact then we will see God as he is, as he was, and as he will be.
But for now, we believe, and confess our belief, only by the grace of God. These three Creeds of the Church are not an institution's creeds, they are the people's creeds, they are your Creeds, they are your confessions of faith. They are the faith into which you have been baptised, Father, Son, & Holy Spirit. His Triune name and the church's confessions of it are a gift to you from God and his church. Therefore, we worship in his holy name and receive Divine service in what we confess as the one true faith.
By remaining in Christ and confessing our sin we uphold our Creeds as true and do the things that are good. Therefore, hold onto the Creeds, struggle with them, confess them with your lips, and examine them against God's written word and see they are your confession of the Triune I AM who comes to us in his Word. Amen.