Confessing Our Faith, Confessing Our Sin

 
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I was at a church service a while ago and it came time for the community to recite the Apostles’ Creed.  The individual leading worship was supposed to say, “we now confess our faith, using the words of the Apostles’ Creed” but he misspoke and said, “We now confess our sins, using the words of the Apostles’ Creed”.    

We usual recite the Apostles’ Creed in church as a means of stating who we are and what we are all about as Christians.  The creeds of the Church are meant to succinctly articulate what God is like and what we as Christians stand for.  

And yet, does the way we live our life actually reflect these beliefs that we confess every Sunday?

It all makes me think… maybe we really are confessing our sins when we recite the Creed together

Think about it… 

The Apostles’ Creed begins with this statement: “I believe in One God, the Father, the Almighty…” and yet don’t we all serve other gods from time to time?  Don’t we all have a tendency to worship the gods of wealth, status, control, and self?  

From there the creed articulates a belief in Jesus’ death, resurrection, and victory over death. But do we actually live like people who believe this? Aren’t we all terrified of losing a loved one or the thought of our own death? 

Then, the creed concludes with statements about the Holy Spirit, and the “holy catholic church” (note: the term “catholic” here means “united” or “unified”) and yet don’t we all seem to constantly be pointing our fingers at “other Christians” whose practice of faith we view as less viable then ours? 

There are a lot of other statements in the Apostles’ Creed that seem to be in conflict with our practice of faith. In a lot of ways, when we confess the Apostles’ Creed, I think we really are confession our sins. 

But here is the thing, the Creed represents an ideal, an ideal set of believes that we will never be able to perfectly live out on our own.  

That’s why, when we confess the Creed during our Sunday worship service, we say the words together.  We need the support of one another if we are ever going to live out these beliefs.  

And not only that, but notice also that when we confess the Apostles’ Creed in church it’s said like a prayer.  When we get to the end of the Creed we all say together “Amen” because we are asking God for help in living out these ideal beliefs.  

I know some people don’t really like having the Creed as a part of the worship service, but for me, its one of my favorite parts because it reminds me of the ways that I could do better but more importantly, it reminds me that as a community and with God’s help, we will do better.

May we support one another and may we cling to the support of God as we live out our Christian faith each and every day.  Amen.  


Nate Preisinger