I believe in Jesus Christ his I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son our Lord who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried; he descended into hell.
Not much going on there! Why did we suggest we could do the Creed in five weeks when it took five centuries to finalize it first time round! Best of luck to Martin Johnstone who is preaching and leading the discussion on Sunday.
There are a few traditional controversies: Conceived by the Holy Ghost; born of the virgin Mary to name a couple but let's not go there as there are plenty of arguments for and against the literal idea though at the end of the debates, you end up believing the same thing that Jesus was unique, special and in relationship to God.
What we might focus on here is the fact that Jesus is hardly born when in the next line he is crucified. Where's all the good stuff about loving neighbour and clothing the naked and freeing the imprisoned and feeding the hungry? What is significantly interesting which was pointed out to me today is that yesterday when we asked the Sunday School children to create their own creed they filled in that space: they spoke of kindness and helpfulness and listening and caring. These are the words our children used that the early leaders of the church couldn't.
In the past it was important 'what' you believed about Jesus. Today what seems to be more important is 'how' we believe in Jesus: through what we do and what we are towards each other. That's a really significant insight our children have brought us: not surprising but a great corrective for us as we think about the Apostles' Creed.
And while we're on, any hymns that might speak into this part of the creed: Jesus birth and then his death (with little in between)? Or music to play...