Dear Hyde Park Family,
On many Sundays, when we gather to worship, we affirm our faith using the words of the Apostles’ Creed. It takes less than a minute to recite – forty seconds, by my watch – followed quickly with a time to greet those around us, then sit down to resume the service.
If we’re honest, we’ll admit that our recitation is, at the very least, rote and robotic, and at worst, an exercise in skepticism. Virgin birth? Holy catholic church? Resurrection of the body? Really?
But what if I told you those forty seconds in worship constitute one of the most potent acts of religious expression in Christian history?
And what if I told you that the story of the Creed’s development rivals that of any bestselling novel or blockbuster film?
Or that the very act of speaking the Creed could bring you a greater sense of identity and community than you could ever imagine?
Maybe then, the words would become more than mumbo jumbo.
The creeds were developed to be bold, public declarations to a pagan, Roman empire about the core convictions of a movement centered on following Jesus.
It is more than an oath, pledge or promise. It is an act of worship, drawing us closer to God and each other every time we say it.
For the next four weeks, our worship series will do more than just track through the words of the Apostles’ Creed. It will be a journey through the very core of what we believe as Christians, uniting us with saints throughout time and around the world in giving praise to God.
“We Believe in Jesus Christ: Jesus, the One and Only”
“We Believe in the Forgiveness of Saints (and the Communion of Saints!)”
By the end of our series, you will not only have a deeper appreciation for the words that we say when we recite any of our traditional or modern creeds; you will be drawn into a closer connection with other Christians, and have your heart and mind channeled toward God.
In the words of the 19th century German-American theologian Philip Schaff, the Creed “is not a word of God to men but a word of men to God, in response to his revelation.”
Ultimately, the creeds remind us that the church is composed of much more than bricks and mortar. It is made up of people, united with common belief and purpose, proclaiming God’s truth and love for the world and future generations.
So let’s join together, for forty seconds that can make all the difference, and remember what it means to be the church.
Grace and peace,
The Rev. Magrey deVega
Senior Pastor, Hyde Park United Methodist