CREDO: This Is My Confession of Faith

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When I saw the theme for this month, my heart sank a little. Most of what I write is, in one way or another, a confession of who I am, what I think, how I’m feeling. I don’t have any deep, dark secrets that must be brought into the light at this stage of my life. The dirty linen has pretty much all been hung out there for anyone to see. I’ve written here and elsewhere about my struggles with food and weight, my mixed emotions on this journey through dementia with my mother, my wrestling through the powerful grip of anxiety in my life and the fact that though my 50-year marriage is good, solid, rich and wonderful—it is far from perfect. Somehow, admitting that I frequently play one too many games of Solitaire or Block Puzzle or that I occasionally binge watch British murder mysteries didn’t quite seem interesting enough for 800-1000 words!

And then it hit me: there is another way to define the word “confession.” There is such a thing as a confession of faith, and I remembered that I have one, written down—a piece that is always a work in process. Each of us who tries to follow in the footsteps of Jesus has one of these. There is a “list” somewhere inside us of what it is we truly believe, what we stake our life on. This is mine:

I believe …

in God the Father Almighty,
God who is bigger than anything I can think or imagine;
God who is small enough to become a human embryo;
God who lives forever in community as three Persons,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

I believe …

that all truth is God’s truth; that nothing science can discover makes God any less than who God is; that human creatures were designed to reflect the glory, intelligence, compassion, creativity, beauty, tenderness, and strength of this Great God and that we are invited to partner with God in the life-giving, freedom-granting, sin-forgiving, brokenness-healing good, good work that is the Kingdom call of the church.

I believe …

that the grace of God is grander than anything we know, broader than any idea we can conceive, wider than any ocean ever seen, and fully beyond our ability to comprehend. This means that anyone and everyone is welcome, that anyone and everyone is loved, that anyone and everyone is offered abundant, forever LIFE.

I believe …

in the Lord Jesus Christ —Jesus of Nazareth, Christ, the Anointed One, Lord of the Cosmos, and Lord of my Life.

I believe …

that this mysterious intertwining of human and divine called the Incarnation is what makes life worth living, what gives matter intrinsic value, what calls us to fully inhabit this world in which we have been placed. I believe that Jesus is God in human skin, skin that was grown in a virgin’s womb, that grew up like any other human child, and at the appointed time, flesh and bones that embraced the call of God to live out the only fully human and fully obedient life this planet has ever seen.

I believe …

that through the self-giving love of Jesus, shown in his willing death and powerful resurrection from the dead, we are made whole, we are forgiven, we are healed, we are blessed to become salt and light in a world that is too often unsavory and dark.

I believe …

in the Comforter, the Spirit of God, who inhabits all who call upon God with sincere hearts. I believe in the church universal, flawed and broken though she is, as the primary means through which the work of God will be accomplished in the world. I believe that God calls and gifts both women and men to lead and to be the church as full partners in the gospel good news. I believe in the communion of saints, the invisible connection, across time and geography, of all who follow the Rabbi from Nazareth.

I believe … 

in the forgiveness of sins, but I also believe that our sin is not the most important thing about us—our intrinsic value as human persons is. I believe that Irenaeus, a second century leader in the church said, “the glory of God is a human person, fully alive.”* I believe that the sacraments of baptism and holy communion are powerful and living symbols, reflecting the heart of our faith. And I believe that eternal life begins here and now, that the heavenly realms are closer to us than our skin. I believe that, “My Redeemer liveth and that on the last day, he shall stand upon the earth.” And I believe that we will be surprised and exhilarated by the wonders yet to come, by the beautiful ways in which our suffering will be redeemed, and by who will be sitting next to us when we feast together around the throne of God.

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