Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth

The Apostles Creed is typically divided up into three articles; each dealing with one person of the Trinity. Luther decided against the twelve part division that the medieval church taught and I largely agree that the three article division is best but I am going with the twelve part division only to make these writings less tedious. So we begin with the first part: "I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth". There is much we confess that is packed into this first simple phrase of the Apostles Creed.

The creed begins to describe who this person of the Trinity is, namely, Father. God the Father is quite fatherly. Scripture is quite clear on who is the Father. Deuteronomy 1:31 “There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” Psalm 2:7 (in foretelling of Jesus’ baptism) “I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” We see throughout the Old Testament, the Father caring and providing for His people, even all people under creation.

That is another important confession we make: God is creator, maker of heaven and earth. Oftentimes we fly past this first statement of the Creed without ever truly thinking about it. But we are confessing that God is the Creator; that He has made everything; the earth, the plants, the cosmos, the animals, even you and me. We are a creature of God and we confess that He has given us everything. Our Catechism states “God has given and constantly sustains my body, soul, and life, all the faculties of my mind, my reason, my food and drink, clothing, means of support, wife and child, house and home” (Large Catechism). Yet, many times we question whether God has truly given these things. After all, I purchased my clothing (or atleast my wife) not God. But within this statement we see that God has provided everything for us through the doctrine of vocation. Where God works through others in the roles and callings that they have. They are all gifts from God who has worked through the fashion designers, workers, retailers and the like to provide for me clothes.

God gives us everything we need in this life. As Christian we are to see God as the Giver of these wonderful things. We are to love, praise, and thank God for all that He has done for us. “He gives us all these things so that we may sense and see in them his fatherly heart and his boundless love toward us” (Large Catechism).

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