I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 to the dead. ((Or, “he descended into hell,” another translation of this text in widespread use.)) On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
Here is an interesting observation about the Creed. No where does it offer a doctrine of sin or atonement. It is all about who God is and what God does. The Father/Mother/Creator gives life and love and the Son embodies–literally enfleshes–that love in reciprocity. Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh, suffered, died, was buried, rose from the dead, is “seated” with God, and has not forsaken us.
The point is that these statements about God unite us as Christians, while the theories of sin and atonement continually divide us. Perhaps the Creed gives us a clue as to where our energy and focus dwells. The Triune God is the giver and sustainer of life.
Narrative Lectionary Texts
John 3:1-21; Acts 15:1-21; 1 Corinthians 1:10-25