Daily Office Readings for Saturday of Proper 19; Year 2
Psalms 75, 76, 23, and 27; Esther 2:5 to 8,15-23 or Judith 5:1 to 21; Acts 17:16 to 34; and John 12:44 to 50
“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.” (Acts 17:24 and 25)
Paul explains to the people who believe in gods that there is only one God and God is unknown and not in need of human support or shelter. This means that if we humans did not exist, God is still God. God gives to us, not we to God. Paul goes on to say “For “In him we live and move and have our being”” (Acts 17:28)
Paul is speaking to an educated people. These are learned philosophers and people who strive to seek more knowledge. Paul also speaks about human ignorance. He says, “While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:30 and 31)
It is because of this Acts writing, and the understanding that the English word “believe” really has more to do with “trust,” that I crafted my own theological creed which is, “I Trust in the Creating Word through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word, in whom we live and move and love and have our being, and to whom we must give an account.”
We have a wonderful Nicene Creed in our Book of Common Prayer. And I totally believe in it. However, I needed something short that I could both easily recall as a guide for myself, and share quickly with someone while on an elevator if asked what I believe. I ask you to do the same. Use mine if you want. But if you believe in a Supreme Being, write down a simple sentence that articulates your belief. We have the gift of words. Use this gift to help guide your relationship with our unknown, but very loving God.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying to and through the saints of God and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John