The following was written for the Coram Deo Academy weekly email series on the Nicene Creed. For more information, or to subscribe to the Coram Deo Weekly, click here.
In many ways the opening words of the Nicene Creed set an inescapable precedent for what follows. The Creed is a statement of communal belief. It is communal in the sense that in affirming it we are entering into a relationship with one another that transcends time, race, and socio-economic lines. Christians are a community of people that affirm the reality and sufficiency of the truth set forth in the Creed. The kinds of truths presented are not to be taken lightly, nor do they always make sense to a modern mind. In the creed we affirm that God entered into the very world He created through the womb of a young virgin named Mary. We affirm that the Roman execution of a first century Palestinian Jew was in a very real sense “for us”. We affirm that there will be a physical resurrection of the dead.
For various reasons and in different seasons of life it can be difficult to believe what we have previously joyfully affirmed. In His goodness God has purposed for these truths to be affirmed and lived-out in a communal setting. I need you, and at times, you will need me. Whether we say “I believe” as one voice in a crowd of many, or “we believe” when we recite the Creed alone, we are reminded that the Triune God that exists in communal love for the world has seen fit for us to live in communal love for one another.