The First Article
"I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth."
“You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.” ~ Revelation 4:11
"I believe that God has created me and all that exists; that God has given and still preserves my body and soul, with all my limbs and senses, my reason and all the faculties of my mind, together with my clothing, food, home, and family, and all my property; that God daily provides me abundantly with all the necessaries of life, protects me from all danger, and preserves me and guards me against all evil; which God does out of pure, parental, and divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I am in duty bound to thank, praise, serve, and obey God. This is most certainly true." ~ Martin Luther
I don't discount it when people tell me that the place they feel closest to God isn't in a church Sanctuary, but in nature.
Some of my most profound God-moments have been in the presence of the awesomeness of God's creation: looking out at the expanse of the ocean; being swept away by the vista of Mount Kilimanjaro; flying over the Sahara Desert and the Grand Canyon; visiting the ancient Angel Oak tree in South Carolina; hearing the loons sing in the far north on a Minnesota lake; seeing the red-rock buttes of Sedona. driving through the lush farmlands of Lancaster County; viewing the unfathomable and gorgeous images of our galaxy from the James Webb telescope.
It is difficult to be part of such a rich, vibrant creation and not be grateful to the Creator of it all.
Luther reminds us though that God's creation isn't simply a thing of the past - giving us a living museum to appreciate and enjoy.
God is in the business of ongoing creation. And God continues to provide, even when we aren't always good about sharing those provisions.
God's creation includes even those places we don't always consider: homes, workplaces, stores.
In includes the richest diamond mines, and the slums of the largest cities.
It includes the people you love and those you have trouble loving
It includes the sources of water we deplete and the air we pollute.
This is the God we speak of in the Creed: the loving parent who created us all. The one who calls us to be partners and caretakers of this creation.
Is it enough then to speak this article of the Creed without living it?
A Prayer by Martin Luther: Dearest God and Lord, strengthen and uphold us in your pure, precious Word through Jesus Christ our Lord, and help us to show and live our thanks with our fruits of faith to your praise and thanks forever. Amen.