Dear Friends in Christ,
What words do most Christians around the world know by heart? Because we say them aloud together almost every Sunday, the answers come quickly – the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer! We can recite them even when memory work is no longer popular in the Faith.
There was a time that this included the Ten Commandments, but the “shalls and shalt nots” have all but been forgotten. There was also a time when the Christian year and the great stained glass windows of cathedrals created a common body of Biblical stories that were known even by those who could not read.
During the Protestant Reformation, a basic question was raised: what should believers and their children and their children’s children know and understand so that the Christian faith would be passed on to each generation? For Martin Luther and John Calvin, the answer was precise: the Apostle’s Creed, the Lord’s Prayer and the Ten Commandments. Already one has been dropped, and the church suffers because the other two are seldom explained or discussed. The words are said weekly from rote memory by many without thinking. Others keep silent for the words are offensive like “he descended into hell.” Or, they make no sense for how can someone be “quick and dead” at the same time?
So this summer, from May 27 through August 5th, I am going to start with the Apostles’ Creed and preach a sermon series titled “I Believe In….” Your questions and ponderings are welcomed! Send them to me by email or let’s talk over Fellowship Time after worship. Join in a study group and go further to explore and discuss! May we not take the Christian Faith for granted that has been given to us all, one generation at a time!
Blessings and Joy!
Dr. Laurey Murphy