What do you believe?

2 comments Written on July 20th, 2012     
Filed under: Better Together, Liturgy
Today’s post is written by Jo Anne Taylor, Director of Music and Worship at Bethlehem Covenant Church in Minneapolis, MN.

This week, thousands of high school students gathered for CHIC 2012. The theme was FIVE, and as the week progressed, the theme unfolded as five questions Jesus asked during his ministry. While CHIC attendees were considering the second of these questions, “Who do you say that I am?” the Better Together group was discussing a similar question: “How do we, as a ‘non-creedal’ denomination, use creeds in worship?” In other words, how do we say who Jesus is when we come together to worship our Lord?

Saying what we believe has been part of Christian worship for centuries, and the history of the Church is punctuated with heated arguments over what constitutes orthodox faith and what constitutes heresy. Two statements of faith that developed from these heated arguments are what we now call the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed. Some Covenant churches include these statements in regular worship (often as part of the Communion liturgy) and others rarely recite them. But they stand as reminders of what we say we believe, in unity with Christians throughout the world.

Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”

Together, we respond, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord …”

Saying who Jesus is means more than giving lip service to our Lord, however. It means living so that others see Christ in us. The Chorister’s Prayer comes to my mind as I think about how we can, as worship leaders, help our congregations continue to connect faith to practice on a daily basis:

Bless, O Lord, us Thy servants,
who minister in Thy temple.

Grant that what we sing with our lips,
we may believe in our hearts,

and what we believe in our hearts,
we may show forth in our lives.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

How do you use creeds in your church? Do you say the Apostles’  or Nicene Creed? Have you developed a practice that your congregation finds meaningful? How do you explain the Covenant’s “non-creedal” position and its embrace of these statements of faith? When those high school students come home from CHIC, how will you help them continue to answer Jesus?

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2 comments “What do you believe?”

I like creeds. They were developed by men of faith and state the faith standards of Christianity. Personally I wish we said them more in worship to encourage and strengthen our young people and new believers.

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So … do you consider the doxology a form of creed? The Lord’s prayer?

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