Last week, I posted my final commentary on The Apostle’s Creed. Actually, it was the final commentary on The Apostles’ Creed, I purposefully changed the punctuation on the title of the Creed, for a reason. The moving of the apostrophe changed it from plural to singular, from OUR creed to MY creed. (I wondered it anyone would catch on to that, but no one ever called me on it.)
Years ago, in one of the libraries in which I worked, I came across a book entitled Pride Of Our People, which was a book of Jewish heroes. This book spoke of Jews down through history, scientists and rabbis, leaders and mystics, who were important Jews, Jews who made an impact in the world and in Judaism. But the one thing struck me as I leafed through that book was that Jewish history didn’t “end.”
For Christians, it seems that God stopped working when John the Apostle put down his pen after writing Revelation. For Christians, it seems, the heroes that are worth studying and remembering and emulating are all contained within the pages of Scripture. We forget that God created and instituted the Church, and that the Church has been living and working for two thousand years now. The Church has been creating saints, evangelists, apostles, and disciples for two thousand years, and each one had the same statement, the same belief. That is what the Apostles’ Creed is; it is the statement of faith of the Church. Not some articles of faith of the Assemblies or statement of beliefs of the Lutherans. No, it is the basic statement that defines the belief of the people who gather under the banner of “Christian.”
Bill and Gloria Gaither wrote a song entitled “The Church Triumphant” which has a recitation by Gloria, with the theme statement, “God has always had a people.” To me, the Apostles’ Creed is the statement of those people down through the centuries. When I say the Creed, I see myself taking my place in the van of saints that stretches back to the Upper Room. For me, Christian history didn’t end with the last apostle.
Instead, when I say the Creed, I am saying that I stand with the likes of Luther and Zwingli, Zinzendorf and Patrick, Mother Teresa, Billy Graham and D. L. Moody. When we read the Creed in unison, in our church service, I know that I am stating my belief in “the faith that has, once for all, been handed down to the saints.” (Jude 3)
Here is The Church Triumphant. As you listen to the recitation, think about you taking your place in the van of saint living, and who have gone on before.