Tradition (May 8, 2012)

…Opening To…

The purpose of the worship of God is to help us see our dependence on God and the vast resources that God wants to lavish on our lives. (Ian S. Markham)

…Listening In…

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. (An excerpt from The Nicene Creed)

…Filling Up…

Our fifth moment in our worship service links us to all of the followers of Jesus Christ that have gone before us. We speak the words of the Creed (usually the “Nicene” Creed), thus setting ourselves in the tradition of our forebears who transmitted the faith to us. The church has survived for as long as it has because of this transmission of tradition. The church has gone through its difficult periods, its divisions, its dark times, but it has persisted, flourished even.

The Nicene Creed was compiled through the work of the First Ecumenical Council held in the year 325 at Nicaea in modern day Turkey. A main topic of discussion at the meeting had to do with exactly who Jesus was. Was he, as the Second Person of the Trinity, of one being with the Father, who is the First Person of the Trinity? Or was he just a really swell guy, the best person ever, but still a being created by God and thus not one with God? The latter view was pretty popular, but there was a big problem with it: if Jesus were just the best person ever, then worshiping him was idolatry.

So the Council promulgated the former view – that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was of one being with the Father, who with the Holy Spirit was one God in a Trinity of persons. It wasn’t as cut and dried as these two paragraphs make it out to be, but that’s the gist of what happened.

The important thing to remember for our discussion is that we are inheritors of this tradition. We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, and so on and so forth. Whenever we say these words, we echo the billions of people who have said them before, thus linking us with the great cloud of witnesses that supports us during our worship.

…Praying For…

Dear God, thank you for guiding your Church through all the changes and chances of this life, even as we are imperfect in our devotion and our action. Help me to pass on the faith to my descendants as it was passed on to me. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, glad to have the opportunity to worship you freely and to bring my weekend worship into my weekday life.

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