Wednesday, November 17, 2010

emily's creed

while i was in slovakia, i did quite a bit of thinking about and reflecting on my beliefs and my faith.  then, the other day, a friend asked me in an email what i believe and the following is what i came up with.

i question my faith and my beliefs all the time.  it's not a bad thing.  for example, the only time i really ever feel any kind of certainty about jesus' resurrection is on easter.  if you ask me on easter, i'm confident that jesus rose from the grave.  if you ask me at another time, then i'm not as sure.

doubt is a normal and natural part of your faith.  a lot of people pin doubt against faith, but someone once told me that the opposite of faith is not doubt, it's apathy.  struggling with what we believe and how we believe is how we grow in our faith.  questions our beliefs, the things we've been taught since forever, is how we mature.  it is necessary for us to grow.

anyway, you actually asked me about my beliefs so here goes:
i believe in a triune god, three persons in one essence in a way that i can't fully understand and can't even come close to fully explaining.
i believe in the person of god who created me and the world and everything in it and everything to come.
i believe in the god incarnate, jesus christ, who came to bring us back into right relationship with god.  i believe that jesus loved fiercely and radically each person he met, but especially those who were oppressed.  i believe that jesus' love is not the easiest thing to accept or to live into, but it is always there for everyone.  i believe that jesus was tortured and killed on the cross and i believe that he rose again.
i believe in the person of god who works in and through us each day as the creative and holy spirit.  i believe in the creativity and reconciliation that comes to each of us because of the holy spirit.
i also believe in people, that we are created good and that we are created in god's image, each and everyone of us just as we are.

so, that's my own "emily's creed," and it comes out far more confident than i necessarily feel most of the time, but my beliefs are not about being 100% on any of these.  if i knew any of these things, it would cease to be faith, it would lose its meaning.  faith is about not being certain, but believing anyway.  people can say that believing unknowable things is stupid or silly, but we all do it, we believe in love, a concept that none of us can fully grasp.  for me, my faith is about this inability to give up on hope, hope that there is something bigger, something beyond me, which is the source of all of our love and that something (god) is constantly working in and through us, so that everyone and everything on earth might know love and justice and peace.

if you're interested in more of my musings, wonderings, and wanderings in seminary, let me know and i'll connect you with other ways to keep in touch with me :)

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