I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his 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;
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of the Father Almighty.
from thence he shall come again to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Years ago, we had a small book of poems by a woman named Helen Plotz, entitled, “Life Hungers To Abound”. I’ve never forgotten the title of the book, although I can tell you nothing of the poem it apparently comes from.
But those four words describe our world, the spread of all living things, plant and animal, on the face of the earth. We are finding, through research and exploration, that there doesn’t seem to be a niche on the earth that some plant or animal doesn’t find a way to survive. Penguins come to mind, as well as the mutant-looking sea creatures that our unmanned submaries are finding in the deepest of oceans, where no light can penetrate.
In man, this drive to live animates us to strive, to work, to accomplish something, ANYTHING, before we die, but inwardly, we realize that we, too, are merely Ozymandias.
But unlike all other life, mankind has an innate knowledge that this is not all there is; we know that “God has set eternity in our hearts.” (Ecc. 3:11) The apostle Paul spoke to this innate knowledge when he addressed the Athenians and reminded them of their own altar “To the Unknown God.” The mathematician/philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote:
“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself.”
With this last statement, the Creed, while staying within the bounds of the revelation of God, speaks to this hope of all humanity. This final statement of the Creed, “I believe in the life everlasting,” affirms trust in God to fulfill the hunger for life that is inextinguishable.