Happy Monday, Friends!
You probably guessed that I would be continuing my theme of using the Nicene Creed as inspiration and the creed continues: “With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.”
Some years ago, the United Church of Christ (UCC) launched their “God is still speaking” campaign signified by a comma. The UCC urged people to resist the temptation to put a period where God puts a comma. As Christians, we often have the temptation to box Jesus and his death on the cross into a static moment in history. As if the creator of heaven and earth is limited to one precise point in history at one particular location. We further have the temptation to regard Jesus’ work as finished. The work and effect of the Cross was not simply limited to first century Palestine, and it was not limited to salvation. It was a model for the continuing work of justice which has not been completed.
Paulo Freire said that “No one can be authentically human while he [sic] prevents others from being so.” Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection three days later are important moments in the story of justice, but they are not the end of that story. We continue the story of justice every day when we witness against evil done by others, evil done by us, and evil done on our behalf. If we hope to be fully human, if we hope to be like Jesus, we must cease standing in the way of the full humanity of every other person.
The creeds are meant to tell the story of salvation just as much as they are meant to express belief. Therefore, it is unsurprising that only the last line of the creed speaks to the future. But the story of salvation, the story of grace, and the story of justice are not just about the past, they are fundamentally about the present and the future.
How will you be part of the story of justice this week? How will you help yourself and someone else be more fully human?
Let us pray: God who died on a cross to bring salvation and to advance justice, give us the grace to lay aside whatever we are doing which prevents other people from being fully human. Forgive our faults, the faults others have done to us, and the faults done by others on our behalf. Bring all of us to the perfect human flourishing that you always envisioned in your creation. We ask this for our sake and your glory. Amen.
Blessings, friends, on your week! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.