Saturday, 23 May 2015

A Creed: A Statement of Our Faith

A Declaration of our Faith based on the Gospel for the Sunday after the Ascension: John 17. 6 - 13:

There is a source from which Life comes:
and that Source we proclaim to be God, a good God who loves mankind.
From that Source there has come a word.
That is to say, there is a Life-Principle which gives order to all things, wonderfully and beautifully.
It is not a word, but a Name:  the Word is known to us as a Person.
That Name is JESUS it contains the ancient Name given in the Burning Bush: JAH saves.
We become bearers of the same Name, the name of Christ, through Baptism.
That is, we become bearers of Life - Life for the world.

The first Christians lived in a world where unwanted children were exposed; put on rubbish-heaps, or left outside in country places. They felt called to adopt them. They believed their calling was
To feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and to visit the sick and those in prison. They believed that to bury the dead was also to honor life.
To these works of mercy we should now add the care of the earth and its resources.

Not to know the Name is not to acknowledge the Love that turns the sun and the other stars (the last line of Dantes Paradiso)
This suggests that we are ruled by necessity, or chance. Chance is how biologists describe the force of evolution. Economists often speak of necessity - of forces.
The world is tending to entropy - decay.  The poor are poor by necessity (or chance: much the same thing).
We have no power in these matters; and therefore we do not have responsibility towards them.
We can only try to hold on to the good which is near us. If that causes conflict, we shall need to fight for what we can get. Power is based on fear.

But the Name we hold is a Name of Peace. Love casts out fear. 
Just recently, Pope Francis has been a broker for negotiations between the USA and Cuba.
This is a wonder, and a blessing. Miracles are in our hands.
The Holy Spirit gives us the power to work miracles. You will do greater works than these, Christ tells the disciples. We have put our trust in Him.
As Paul puts it:
I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the Love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Fr Simon