We Believe: We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

Jon R. Jordan, Dallas Logic School Principal
So far in this series, we have explored why Creeds matter and why CDA has chosen the Nicene Creed to be our statement of faith. We have participated in a bird’s-eye overview of the history of the Creed, and have hopefully explained some of its more tricky phrases. 
This has been an important exercise. 

But we aren’t done.

My relationship with the Nicene Creed has intensified a bit these past few years. I have come to see it not just as a statement of faith, or a good summary of the message of Scripture. 

I have come to see reciting the Nicene Creed as an exercise, one that builds specific muscle memory for when you need it most.

An Irish philosopher that teaches at SMU, who also happens to be a dedicated Christian, first introduced me to this concept a few years back. He was scheduled to speak at an event held by my church one summer, but had to cancel at the last minute. His adult son, who lived with him, passed away unexpectedly. A year later, we invited him back to talk about anything he wanted. He decided to speak about grief and the Christian faith. He said many things that evening, but one in particular stood out to me:

In the year following the death of his son, he was unable to cognitively affirm his faith. His mind simply could not process what was happening in light of what he knew about the Goodness of God. 

Do you know what he said sustained him during that time? 

Habits. Holy habits. The practices he was forced to participate in as a young child, and that he had continued into his adult life. He prayed every night that year, not because he felt like it, but because he knew no other way of living. He recited the Creed every Sunday, not because he could process its meaning but because his church asked him to. 

And do you know what happened? Over the course of the year, he discovered the beauty of having the closing line of the Creed embedded in his heart, mind, soul, and body.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.

I helped with a Requiem service a few months back for friends at our church who lost a three day old baby a year ago. What do you say in a service like that?

You can’t explain why it happened. You can’t predict how God might use it decades down the road. (After serving as a hospital chaplain for a season last year, let me take this opportunity to also say Please, for the sake of all that is Holy, do not say that ‘God just needed another Angel in heaven.’)
But what do you say in a service like that? 
“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.”

Sorrow will not truly heal until that day when the last line of the Creed - the last line of the Bible - is fulfilled. But until then,
“We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.”

The Creed is many things, but it is also an exercise to build muscle memory for when you need it most. Recite it often, by yourself and with your students. Let the biblical language soak into your bones so that God can use it to sustain you when your mind can’t. 

Amen.
Back
No comments have been posted