And so we come to the last few lines of the Creed gathering round saying:
I believe in the forgiveness of sins
the resurrection of the body
and the life everlasting.
Dare we hope? Dare we say yes to our biggest dreams? The Creeds allows us and indeed asks us to say yes.
And of we do, what does that lead us into? If we state we believe in the forgiveness of sins, what does that do to our relationship with the world and with each other? We can speak of these things gently within the confines of a Christian community, but the Creeds dares us, surely to live within forgiveness beyond that community and towards the world. Now, that is an altogether bigger and more daring thing. So dare we? What would that mean for our media that loves the sensation of sinners being found out; or for our politics and how we create laws and world globally…
But the resurrection of the body? Hmm, not sure I want the body I have. Maybe you get a choice of a new one. Not convinced I want a bodily resurrection at all: how limiting is that? Surely new life, new creation, resurrection is about being freer than we are now, beyond the physical? If you give me a body then I’m going to die again because, as we understand it, the physical body can only last so long. Resurrection, yes, but I don’t imagine God would limit resurrection to the physical. Need to wait and see…
And the life everlasting, which, in John’s gospel begins now. So that means the life everlasting begins in the relationships we grow with others: in the justice we invite, in the forgiveness we offer, in the bodies we have. Fair trade, just tax, peace making: all these are the beginnings of life everlasting. And beyond that I don’t know. What does everlasting mean, how will it be, where will it be… and so we conclude the Creed with questions, which is exactly how we started it.
Any hymns for Sunday which will be a mash-up of Creed, Fair trade and BB parade… Help!