In general, I hate creeds. They are so flat in meaning when I want to explore the nuance of every word. What does it mean to believe in Jesus as the son of God? Hmm? Also, since we are all children of God (in my theology), then are we not all in this state of relationship? Somehow, this questioning and poking never can come across in a creed. And creeds, in my humble opinion, often lead people to a state of un-questioning. I want all the questions! All the curiosity! All the diversity of belief and unbelief! I want the big tent that is modeled here at BeguineAgain with our skeptic, James Cowles and our poet, Unitarian Universalist, Jamie Dedes and all the rest of us that land somewhere else.
That simply can't happen in a creed.
And then I found this. This creed that Neal Presa, the current moderator of the Presbyterian Church (USA) posted on Facebook. It is credited to Rev. Jose Luis Casal. And I thought, "This is a beautiful creed. I can handle this."
And so, I invite you to put on an interfaith-vocabulary adapting hat and to enter into this creed just for a moment. I know it isn't everyone's cup of faith tea, but I hope there is something you can find worth retaining at the heart of it.
I also ask your forgiveness if a creed isn't quite a prayer. I also ask your forgiveness if this isn't quite what you need this morning.
The Immigrant Apostles’ Creed
I believe in Almighty God,
who guided the people in exile and in exodus,
the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon,
the God of foreigners and immigrants.
I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean,
who was born away from his people and his home, who fled
his country with his parents when his life was in danger.
When he returned to his own country he suffered under the oppression of Pontius Pilate, the servant of a foreign power. Jesus was persecuted, beaten, tortured, and unjustly condemned to death.
But on the third day Jesus rose from the dead,
not as a scorned foreigner but to offer us citizenship in God’s kingdom.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the eternal immigrant from God’s kingdom among us,
who speaks all languages, lives in all countries,
and reunites all races.
I believe that the Church is the secure home
for foreigners and for all believers.
I believe that the communion of saints begins
when we embrace all God’s people in all their diversity.
I believe in forgiveness, which makes us all equal before God,
and in reconciliation, which heals our brokenness.
I believe that in the Resurrection
God will unite us as one people
in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.
I believe in life eternal, in which no one will be foreigner
but all will be citizens of the kingdom
where God reigns forever and ever. Amen.