I believe in God Almighty, expressed as three distinct persons but of one being: Abba my creator, Jesus my savior, and Holy Spirit my guide.
I believe that our holy God created us to be in communion with God just as God is in communion with Godself. Three and yet One. We human beings were created in God’s image, and yet we have different tongues, differing hues, different thoughts. We see and experience the world in ways that no single human could ever understand or withstand. Together we form the patchwork quilt of God’s creation, colorful and vast. One patch might not know that the other exists, but if one were loosed, then the whole creation would falter. All different and yet all together.
I believe that Abba authored creation through the Word and has revealed Godself to us in scripture. Scripture is the foundation of the church, a love letter that opens doors, sets tables, and welcomes the community. Through the Bible, God speaks to us today through the stories of sinners, teaching us that God is bigger than our mistakes and calling us home.
Though created to be in communion with God and with one another, we are unable to choose goodness on our own. We are conditioned toward self-satisfaction and self-destruction and have left the metaphorical Garden of Eden because we want to control every aspect of our lives. Throughout history, God has been calling us home, but our sin has not allowed us. Both the proud elder and younger prodigal sons and daughters of this world are still working through their shame, not realizing that God is waiting on the front porch. As we learned from the prophets, God has made covenants with God’s people promising them a place at the table, but people have consistently walked away from that welcome. Abba sent the Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit to prepare us for the coming kingdom.
As our prophet, priest, and king, Jesus gave us instructions to gather and love God and neighbor in the breaking of bread and experience of life. With a focus on community, the Church is a central point of worship and fellowship. Relying on the Holy Spirit, we learn from and emulate the teachings of Jesus. We mark our entrance into the community of believers with baptism and receive God’s grace every time we partake of communion. God is with us every step of our lives, but in these two sacramental experiences, we are allowing God’s redemptive nature to orient us back to God.
Our calling is to recognize that God’s gift applies to all the children of God, every patch on the quilt of creation. Our calling is my calling: to remember that the Holy Spirit, though separate from us, resides in all those I interact with and, just as important, to remember that the Holy Spirit also resides in me. The nature of Christian ministry is to lead a life in communion with our global neighbors, seeking the welfare of self and others in this life and the next.
One need not look further than the Last Supper, to understand the promise of a new heaven and a new earth. Jesus sat down with the disciples and made it known that one of them would betray him. He then took bread, blessed it, and poured the wine welcoming Judas the betrayer, Peter the denier, and Thomas the doubter. They are forgiven before they even commit these sins and are explicitly promised a place in God’s kingdom. If Jesus did not deny even Judas from that table then who are we to deny anyone from this table?
I believe that God is calling all people to a transformed life in Jesus Christ through the acceptance of God’s Grace and the work of the Spirit. Upon his death, Jesus went to the land of the dead and then he rose again. Indeed, there is no place in existence that has not been touched by God and so there is no place that is without God. Paradise is a place where our past lives do not give us prestige or privilege above others. The invitation was granted at creation and confirmed on the cross. Only God can possibly know who will be admitted. In the meantime, we must assume that all people belong to God and so our charge is to seek a renewed earth where we are led by the Spirit, instead of our selfish selves.
I believe in God Almighty: Abba, Jesus, and Holy Spirit; who created us and all that we know, giving us the charge to care for all that we see, who walks alongside us as we stumble, and who raises us up tilting our heads towards a new and more hopeful life today.