Rehydrating the Creed: The Father Dr Marty Folsom

The Creeds are short statements intended to affirm the teaching of the Bible, especially about God. While I would not remove anything, I feel that there is something lost within its shortness and dryness , starting with the Father.

I do believe in God the Father, but even more that He believes in me. I do not merely believe that He made heaven and earth, things visible and invisible, but also that this creative activity comes from a heart of love that acts in freedom. “I believe in God the Father who in loving freedom created the world and lovingly sustains it still.”

I do believe that He is the Creator, but that is not a one-time event. To be Creator is also to say that God personally created the Universe with meaning, namely to embrace it in Covenant love as a fulfillment of His creative purposes. We inhabit a personal universe whose meaning is in the act of One who meant it for Covenant communion. “I believe in God the Father who in loving freedom created the world and lovingly sustains it still in Covenant love.”

I do believe that He is One God, the Father, but not alone. He is the Creator who speaks and acts through the Son and Spirit as the One God. Creation is an expression of Triune love in provision, fidelity, and reconciliation for all that is created or even loses communion. “I believe in God the Father, who in loving freedom created the world and lovingly sustains it still, together with the Son and Spirit, embracing this world in Covenant love to share God’s life in communion.”

I also believe the Father knows each of us, not outside the Son and Spirit, but through the going out of the Son and Spirit to awaken each of us to His love. That awakening call invites and includes me. This is not ego-centric or anthropomorphic, but is the fulfillment of the work of Jesus (no one comes to the Father except through Me) and the Spirit (by the Spirit we cry out “Abba, Father”). Until we know that we are known, we only believe that the Father is with and for us. But we are to come to a participative knowing that we are known and embraced. That is a believing in, a realignment of our world, in trusting the Father’s love for us. “I believe in God the Father, who in loving freedom created the world and lovingly sustains it still, together with the Son and Spirit, embracing this world in Covenant love to share God’s life in communion. For me He acts, pursuing still with a love that will not let me go and in which I rest and am renewed. Through me He loves and cherishes a world still dear to His heart, as I am about His business in home, church, or community.”

This added articulation seems to rehydrate the Creed so that my believing in the Father reflects the whole of the Bible. It addresses what the creeds are still saying to a church that reads too quickly past “the Father” from whom all blessings flow, in harmony with His Beloved Son and Holy Spirit. We must move beyond description to participation if the creed is to facilitate a life of worship that permeates all of life, and in fact, shares God’s life abiding in Him.