Thursday, November 4, 2010

Affirmation of Faith.

Note: I often receive emails asking what Lutherans believe. Asking if they're Christian. Wondering what they believe on this political issue or that. The truth is that there are multiple sects of the Lutheran Church, ranging from very conservative to quite liberal. I couldn't possibly aspire to give an accurate representation of what all Lutherans believe, but I can make an effort to continue to talk and write about what I believe, as I'm doing today. My intent isn't to tell you that I'm right, or that those who believe differently are wrong. My intent is to simply share a little bit more about my own life of faith--the struggles that I deal with, the joys that I find, little parts of what it means to be Lutheran, to me.

Growing up, I did not always enjoy attending the Lutheran Church. Sometimes it felt old. Stuffy. In fact, although I attended a Lutheran college, I don't think I went to church but twice in the year that I was there.  I longed to go to church with my friends who attended fellowship-type churches--to me, their churches felt vibrant, and alive with music. They didn't have to deal with the boring rituals of liturgy that felt lifeless and rote. I left feeling invigorated, and ready to approach the next week.

I still love the music and dynamic of those churches, but I have recently {within the past year} begun to appreciate certain things about the liturgy of the Lutheran church as well. Last night, I was thinking of one of the Affirmations of Faith that we said during service growing up:


I have faith in God, in response to overwhelming love. 

I believe that God created me and all that I have, and has given me gifts beyond measure. 

I have faith in Jesus, who emptied Himself out of His love for me. 

I believe that Christ died on a cross for my sin, conquered death and the power of evil, and was raised to life on the third day. His death is mine, His resurrection is mine, new life is mine because of Jesus’ words and work. 

I believe in the Holy Spirit in response to overwhelming love. 

I believe that the Holy Spirit is present here among us and lives within each person. The Spirit continues to call people by the Gospel and creates and builds the church of Christ. Through the power of the Spirit, I have power to stand in strength against all adversity. 

I believe that Jesus is gone to prepare a place for me and will come again to take each of us to be with Him. Amen.

 I was thinking of this text last night because we have sort of begun transitioning from bouncing back and forth between the church that I grew up at and the church where Justin's dad is the pastor. Both Lutheran churches from the same sect, but very different, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, as with any church. It's interesting, because at the church where Justin's dad is the pastor, I've noticed that we tend to say the Nicene Creed as our Affirmation of Faith, rather than the above text. One isn't more "right" than the other--there are many different Affirmations of Faith, and I suspect that each pastor selects the one that speaks most to them.

I love this particular affirmation of faith because I feel like it summarizes so clearly and succinctly what I believe in terms of my faith. Last night I was thinking about how I have felt God's overwhelming love in my life. I have stood through adversity, only through the Holy Spirit. This text is a blessing to me, because it inevitably causes me to stop and remember all those instances in my life. Overall, I just think that this Affirmation of Faith is a beautifully phrased, and I wanted to share it with y'all today in case you haven't seen this particular version before :)

3 comments:

  1. I too, grew up in a Lutheran church and I've never heard that affirmation before, but I love it. The church I grew up in always say the Apostle's creed and on rare occasion the Nicene.

    Thanks for sharing! Happy Friday!

    ReplyDelete
  2. People used to ask me if Catholics were Christian.

    People are dumb.

    ReplyDelete

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