Wednesday, November 01, 2006

This I Believe

Dear Me,

I believe in God, creator, revealer of self and all and me, without whom I could not know or be known, upon whose reality, reality rests.

I believe in a holy goodness, common in its fundamentals, to all humankind, which in it's very existence illumines God and the path of being.

I believe in love as the first good, the summum bonum, of the universe and an inhaled breath, the global dance and the catching eyes. I believe that God is the fount or source of all Love, which though in human expression appears as in a mirror darkly, is in Godly presentation unquantifiable and incomprehensible.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God, Son, Savior, first born and bearing daughters and sons through sacrifice and substitution, incarnation and presence, mercy, embrace, and remembrance.

I believe in sin and the eternal damnation of all in me that rises up against the good and God and in the forgiveness of sin and triumph of justice.

I believe in the Holy Spirit and the populist work of that spirit revealing herself in the witness of one spiritual being to another, linking not just soul to soul or God to soul, but all to all.

I believe in the resurrection from death and both the life everlasting and the eternal now.

I believe in the mystery of all of this and that if I do not sometimes tuck away my "I believes" and replace them with I be, I do, I care, I love, I will, then faith itself may curl, become translucent, and fade away.

Amen

3 comments:

brd said...

Here are two criticisms that I have in my mind of this creed. First, is the absence of the word salvation. Every day as I go to work, I drive out of the lane and turn to see an incredible view of the Tennessee river. At that moment, each day, a prayer rises in me. It is: "Lord Jesus Christ son of God, have mercy on me a sinner. Save me, save me, save me." The idea of salvation and my need for salvation are very present in my thoughts and feelings.

Second, I am a bit uncomfortable that this confirms a belief in sin before it expresses a belief in forgiveness. To me, this makes sequential sense, but not spiritual sense.

Cate said...

In response to your question, I do like the pronoun in the creed. I just read the Creed again (not just for the second time), and the pronoun immediately made me think of a fluidity of the Spirit. It is not incarnate (although we could say it may incarnate) and need not conform to our categories of male and female which causes such distress sometimes. By this I do not mean that the Spirit is androgynous, but wholly both and something more.

Just thinking about the Spirit and "incarnate" and associated to the belief (doctrine?) of transubstantiation. In Catholicism, the communion host becomes the body and blood of Christ...So the Spirit is not incarnate but is transubstantiated, or "becomes substance" as She reveals herself through the witness of one being (Being?)to another. Just a thought.

As for the sin before forgiveness, perhaps the order is spiritually correct. Forgiveness becomes meaningful when we realize our sin. When we are able to see ourselves as sinners--as much as our defenses will allow--I think there is a qualitatve shift in what it means to forgive others.

Anne G G said...

I think your second criticism has to do with your first . . . though I think your creed is wonderful. I think that in order to put in something about salvation, maybe we need to get clearer on what we're being saved from. Are we saved from the devil and his attacks? Are we saved from our own sin, our own sinfulness, our "sin nature"? Are we saved from our human and natural enemies? Or simply from a hostile natural world, where everything leans toward chaos?

I think that question has to be answered to our satisfaction before we can determine the place of sin and forgiveness in our creed: is salvation primarily just the act of long-term forgiveness, or is it something else?