Saturday, July 5, 2014

Packets of truth: food for the soul

The Christian faith is revealed essentially and uniquely in the Holy Bible. We read the Bible for spiritual insight, leading to salvation, and for exhortation, encouragement and correction.
Many believers have found the ancient creeds to be helpful in articulating those elements of faith considered to be guards against the misunderstanding of Scripture. In other words, creeds keep us on track. How does this happen? We are reminded each time we say them how these sentences have been spoken as acts of faith by people in places near and far. If you look you might still find people who have attended church at least 40 or 50 Sundays a year for 70, 80 or even 90+ years. If they were Anglican, Lutheran, Orthodox or Roman Catholic they might easily have recited one creed or another over 3000 times with varying degrees of intellectual and spiritual understanding and commitment.

The Apostle's Creed is still well known if not as familiar as it once might have been.

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth;
and in Jesus Christ,(the Messiah Yeshua) His only Son Our Lord,
Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

The Nicene Creed and that of St. Athanasius would come second and third in terms of their potentially being on the radar screen of a 21st century Christian.

The chief business of life is both to learn truth and then to find ways to apply truth to our own lives.

Shim‘on Kefa said to Yeshua, “Lord, where are you going?” He answered, “Where I am going, you cannot follow me now; but you will follow later.”  “Lord,” Kefa said to him, “why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!” Yeshua answered, “You will lay down your life for me? Yes, indeed! I tell you, before the rooster crows you will disown me three times. “Don’t let yourselves be disturbed. Trust in God and trust in me. In my Father’s house are many places to live. If there weren’t, I would have told you; because I am going there to prepare a place for you. Since I am going and preparing a place for you, I will return to take you with me; so that where I am, you may be also.  Furthermore, you know where I’m going; and you know the way there.” T’oma said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you’re going; so how can we know the way?” Yeshua said, “I AM the Way — and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me. Because you have known me, you will also know my Father; from now on, you do know him — in fact, you have seen him.”;NIV

Love God. Love your neighbour. Yes, even love your enemy! But do it in accord with the truth which is revealed in Holy Scripture.

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