Thursday, September 14, 2006

Focused on the Past, Present, and Future

Yesterday I was proof reading our bulletin when I came across our Affirmation of Faith. This is the time in our service when we recite together as a congregation what scripture teaches us to believe. Sometimes the Affirmation of Faith comes from scripture (i.e. Philippians 2:5-11, 1 Corinthians 15:3-10) or it might be one of the Confessions in the PCUSA's Book of Confessions (i.e. Apostles Creed, Brief Statement of Faith). The Affirmation of Faith I have chosen for this Sunday is from A Brief Statement of Faith, 10.2-1-.5: "We trust in Jesus Christ, fully human, fully God. Jesus proclaimed the reign of God:preaching good news to the poor and release to the captives, teaching by word and deed...We trust in God, whom Jesus called Abba, Father. In sovereign love God created the world good and makes everyone equally in God's image male and female, of every race and people, to live as one community... We trust in God the Holy Spirit, everywhere the giver and renewer of life. The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith, sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor, and binds us together with all believers in the one body of Christ, the church... With believers in every time and place, we rejoice that nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen."
What struck me as I read over this statement (and this hits me with other Confessions as well) is that we don't have to reinvent the truth. Christians of all time have been struggling together to understand God's word and God's ways. The Book of Confessions is a collection of these statements of faith that sought to solidy the Christians of that time period when they were being attacked by outside influences.

So why do I write this? I write this because we are attacked today by all kinds of influences (liberalism, political correctness, materialism, etc..). And it is comforting for me that as a Pastor I don't have to establish a new statement of faith for myself or my congregation. There are many great statements that are biblically sound and lead us to the truth of the gospel.
My encouragement to you is to take heart that we are continuing the tradition of being faithful to God through our words and actions. Don't be discouraged, God is always there in this struggle. Tell me what you think. Pastor Chris