In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God* swept over the face of the waters. 3Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light.
We recite it every week. The Apostle’s Creed. For some of us, it has special meaning. For others, it is just what we are supposed to do and doesn’t really mean anything at all.
The truth is that no matter what camp you may fall in, whether the Creed has meaning or seems to have no meaning, the Apostle’s Creed is forming you more than you can even imagine. The Apostle’s Creed is not something we form. It is something that forms us. Creeds are not something we make, as much as they are things that make us.
And the very first line of the Apostle’s Creed declares, “I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.” The Nicene Creed begins, “We believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.” Each week in worship we declare this formative understanding of God. God is creator of all and everything that exists is dependent upon God.
By believing in God as Creator, we affirm that we are created us in God’s image. God is maker of heaven and earth and all that is in it. We are God’s children, formed in God’s image. The imago dei, the image of God, dwells in us. This is significant in how we view the world and how we view ourselves.
Growing up, I was exposed to the “Plan of Salvation”? There were four statements in the Plan and they went like this, “Man Has a Problem, We Are Separated From God; Your Works Cannot Save You; God’s Has a Solution, Jesus Christ; How Do We Accept Christ, Faith”. This simple plan of salvation was taught to me from a young age, but it wasn’t until college that I realized it was missing something very important – and it was the Apostle’s Creed that helped me discover it. The first step in the plan states we are, firstly, sinners, separated from God. This is not the first message about humanity in scripture. The very first message about humanity in scripture is “You are Created in the Image of God!” That changed everything about the way I perceived not just the plan of salvation, but all the people I meet every day. The starting point made all the difference in how I viewed humanity.
The first line of the Apostle’s Creed also affirms that God formed creation out of the chaos, bringing light in the darkness. Illumination is a significant part of the creation story. Light reveals to us that God was present even in the darkness – God was and is present in the formlessness…the void…and the chaos. Out of that chaos and darkness, God brought order, harmony, balance and unity…and God still does that every day.
I was talking to a good friend this week about a difficult time in her life she had experienced a few years ago. In processing all the ups and downs and twists and turns, she was able to see how God was moving even in the dark chaos. She could see God’s work of order and harmony in the midst of her own void, bringing light to her life and those around her.
I believe in God the Father, Creator of Heaven and Earth – in that one statement, we are reminded of our identity as children of God and that God is with us even in the dark chaos of life. I need to be reminded of these things every single day.