I have two collections of short essays called "This I Believe" and "This I Believe II". It is from a series by NPR that was first begun in 1951 with Edward R. Murrow hosting and later revived around 2005. They asked people known and unknown to share in a few hundred words their basic philosophies of life. What are those ideas or values that are central to the ways in which they live? What would they cite as their creed?
Many of the titles themselves are thought provoking, enticing us to read these particular philosophies of life, such as:
Be Cool to the Pizza Dude
The God Who Embraced Me
Disrupting My Comfort Zone
My Fellow Worms
We All Need Mending
Failure is a Good Thing
What do you believe?
In the Church, we use very specific creeds - the Apostle's and the Nicene Creed - that have been shared with only slight variations over 1600 years or so. In some ways, they tell us what we are supposed to believe. We recite them, often by rote, and without much thought about these particular convictions of faith. They each tell us information about God who has expressed himself in a Triune way, but what does this knowledge mean for the ways in which we live our lives?
As fifteen of our young people prepare to Affirm their Faith in the rite of Confirmation, they have been asked to write their own statement of faith. They have been encouraged to do more than just write information or what they know about God. These statements are an opportunity for them to reflect on the ways in which their faith intersects with their daily lives. They are a call to witness to the difference that God makes in their lives.
What does it mean to say that we have a God who
shows no partiality?
promises us the gift of the resurrection now?
created the heavens and the earth?
is with us always to the end of the age?
(what else would you add?)
What do you believe?
How would you write your own statement of faith, philosophy of life?
How has your faith intersected with your own daily life?
And would you be willing to share your statement with others? Here in the comments, on Facebook, the church newsletter or in Sunday morning worship?