Most biblical scholars agree that the Apostles' Creed was developed sometime between the second and ninth centuries, and most likely, came into fullest form around 700 AD. This creed was used to summarise the Christian doctrine and was used as a baptismal confession in the churches of Rome.
Whilst there has been several translations the one that resonated with me the closest is the modern English version, as per below:
"I believe in God, the Father almighty,
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.
Although in the above translation, the word "Catholic" refers to the Roman Catholic Church, I found a sense of peace with these words. Why?
In my last article (last month) I mentioned that I got the opportunity to travel throughout the European summer in the UK, France and Spain. It was an early afternoon with my friends when we walked into "La Sagrada Famila", the unfinished church where I had this moment of pure peace. The following words were written words across the walls (See below).
Photo 1 - La Sagrada Famila"Apostles Creed"
Similar to how it reads in Ephesians 2 verse 20 – 21, "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to becomes a holy temple in the Lord", I found that it was all about keeping the main thing, the main thing.
Looking back a few months, at the women's Colour Conference, Hillsong Church released a song which echoed round the stadium called "This I believe" and standing in La Sagrada famila, I found these words come alive in my spirit in a new way.
Strangely enough words which were written centuries ago because fresh.
This then made me wonder…
What is it about these words/lyrics/creed that was (and still is today) so moving?
Was it the inspired repetition throughout the verses? Maybe.
Was it the sentences that came out of the gospels and apostles? Perhaps.
Was it the blatant statement of core beliefs across denominations?
Certainly, it was and is the Power of Unity. The Psalmist had it oh so right when he said in Psalms 133 verse 1 "How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in Unity!"
Over the years of being in and around church life, I have noticed that the key reason why people leave churches isn't due to the music, preachers or Jesus, but it is often offences and differences in opinions. Having read and internalising the words and lyrics of the Apostles' creed I imagined…. The what if?
That we as the 'church' (regardless of denomination), kept the main thing, the main thing. Meaning differences were left aside and focused on the core foundations "God our Father", "Christ the Son", "The Holy Spirit", Our God is three in one, the resurrection and the name of Jesus".
More than anything, I pray this is my spirit for my family, future generations and people I can influence.
Meenal Chandra is a Sydney based writer who believes in the power of unity.
Meenal Chandra's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/meenal-chandra.html