Your Triune God Personally Loves You
Holy Trinity Sunday – May 27, 2018
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.”
4 At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke. 5 “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
6 Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. 7 With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” 8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” (Isaiah 6:1-8)
We have seen a lot of seasons as we walk through the Church Year, each one headed by a Church Festival. The Advent season begins the Church Year, simultaneously preparing our hearts for Christ’s first coming at Christmas as well as his second coming on Judgment Day. The high festival of Christmas celebrates Christ’s birth as Immanuel, God with us.
Epiphany follows, focusing on the the word and works of Christ for all people. It ends with the high festival of Transfiguration, when Jesus revealed his glory. Then we descend into the sobering season of Lent, focusing on Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, his institution of the Lord’s Supper on Maundy Thursday, his suffering and death on Good Friday. Then comes Easter, the grandest celebration of the entire year when we cry out in joy, “Christ is risen!” Just last week, our Sundays of Easter gave way to the great festival of Pentecost, the reminder that we are all missionaries for our Lord to the ends of the earth.
And then comes today: Holy Trinity Sunday. It is the final great celebration in the Church Year. It is also different from any other church celebration. Trinity Sunday, today, is the only Church celebration that doesn’t celebrate an event. It celebrates a reality. That reality is the revelation of who our true God is.
This morning we see our Triune God all over again through the eyes of a rookie prophet. As far as we know, it was his first day of ministry. But instead of being ordained at the temple, or anointed by another prophet, the Lord marks the beginning of Isaiah’s ministry by revealing something extraordinary, something astonishing. The Lord shows Isaiah…the Lord!
The young prophet recalled the memorable scene for us this morning: “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.” Quite a way to begin one’s ministry! As far as we know, Isaiah became the first person ever to behold the very throne room of the Lord! Of course, there was more than just the throne of heaven. “Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.” And here is what those strange-looking, flying seraphs sung in the presence of the one, eternal God: Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”
The sight of God in heaven was so awe-inspiring that “At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.”
Of course, it was all too much for Isaiah to take. God’s prophet cries out, “Woe to me! I am ruined!” The throne of the Lord, the seraphs flying and singing, and the presence of the Lord himself would be enough to make anyone shutter in fear.
But that isn’t why Isaiah cried out the way he did. His fear didn’t really have anything to do with the singing or the flying or the angels or the throne. It had to do with himself. Isaiah had good reason to fear for his life. In fact, he realized that he was about to die! And here’s why: “For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Isaiah had seen the “Kavod Adonai”. It was the glory of the Lord. And for a sinful, “unclean” person to see such a sight meant instant death. In the presence of the Lord Isaiah had nowhere to hide. He reveals his sins completely as he states “I am a man of unclean lips.” And yet he admits “My eyes have seen the King.”
What if that happened here this morning? All of a sudden in the middle of our church the wooden frame begins to shake. Smoke descends from the roof and fills the room. We begin to see six-winged angels flying above us. Their strong, powerful singing floods the church with music so beautiful that we feel unworthy to hear it.
What would happen? It would simultaneously be the greatest scene we have ever beheld…and the last. And you know why. Like God’s newly-minted prophet, we too admit in the presence of our omnipotent, perfect, holy God that we are people ”of unclean lips.” No sinner can stand in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit and live. Isaiah had seen the Lord, and he fully expected to die because of it. In fact, he should have died. We deserve that death, too.
That reality illustrates just how important Jesus’ incarnation was. The fact that God himself, whom even the heavens cannot contain, came to be Immanuel – God with us, defines love. And being among us, Jesus became a light for Jews and Gentiles alike. Then he allowed himself to face the punishment reserved only for sinners who dare to stand in the presence of God. God the Son faced the eternal punishment from God the Father – and he did it all so that he could send God the Holy Spirit into your heart to give you faith.
Isaiah should have died the day he saw his Triune God. But all at once his eternal punishment was exchanged for a beautiful blessing. “Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar.” On this altar were burning coals, which symbolized the purification for God’s people. “With it he touched my mouth and said, ‘See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.’”
Isaiah no longer needed to fear the wrath of the Lord. Neither do you – not even when the storms of this life threaten you – or when you sins seem too awful to be forgiven. Do not be afraid. The tongs holding that live coal, forged in the furnace at the cross, have touched you, too. You stand forgiven.
There was once a father walking with his 1 year old son on his back around a wooded lake. They were both wearing hooded jackets because the weather looked like it might rain. Then, as they were on the far side of the lake, about half way around, the rain came. Now what the father didn’t realize was that his little child had taken off his hood earlier. So when it began to rain the baby started to cry. As the rain started to fall harder and harder the father heard the now screams of his son and took him off of his back and held him in his arms, under his coat to protect him against the rain. But this wasn’t enough as the child continued to scream, becoming more and more frightened of the loud thunder and rain. So for the rest of the walk, the father whispered in his son’s ear, “Everything is okay. Your safe. I’m right here with you. I will not leave you.” By the end of the walk that baby knew the love his father had for him.
Your Triune God who washed your sins away at baptism now asks you the same question he asked Isaiah so many years ago: “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And you get to answer with the words of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me!” And in the midst of it all remains your Triune God’s everlasting promise: “Surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” And you know what? He will be. Amen.
From Death to Life
Pentecost Sunday – May 20, 2018
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. 5Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard them speaking in his own language. 7Utterly amazed, they asked: “Are not all these men who are speaking Galileans? 8Then how is it that each of us hears them in his own native language? 9Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11(both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?” 13Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”14Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. 15These men are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! 16No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 17 ‘In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. 18Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. 19I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 20The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. 21And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” (Acts 2:1-21)
There are a lot of incredible sites to behold in the city of Paris, from the huge Eiffel Tower to the priceless art hanging in the Louvre to the Arch de Triomphe. It’s no wonder then, that every year millions of people travel to witness these historically famous sites. But there is one location in the city that is hidden so well, most people never see it at all. No airplane or satellite or drone can take a picture of it. No road can get you there.
It is a part of Paris doomed to rest in darkness forever. In fact, it is so cold and so dark, the only people who live there…are the dead.
To get there, you must first pass through a doorway called the “Gate of Hell.” Down the stairs you go, descending into darkness. After walking through long, narrow hallways you start to see them. They line the walls, piled up from the floor to the ceiling. They are the centuries old, white-washed bones of the dead. And you can see them still to this day, in their final resting place in the catacombs of Paris.
Does that sound like your kind of destination vacation? Maybe not. Not many would voluntarily descend into chasms of skeletons. The cold air, the enveloping darkness, the eery silence, and the dead stares of skulls might just be enough to send shivers up your spine.
Thankfully, you don’t have descend into Paris’ depths of the dead if you don’t want to. But long ago, the prophet Ezekiel had no choice. “The hand of the Lord was upon me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones.”
The catacombs of Paris are hidden away in darkness. Yet the Lord brought Ezekiel to an open valley filled with bones. And he wasn’t allowed to simply look from a distance. “He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry.” Ezekiel had to inspect these bones!
Then, in the middle of this above-ground graveyard, the Lord asks a profound question of Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I don’t remember that question ever coming up in Biology. The quick answer is, “No.” What’s dead is dead. In fact, the Hebrew question expects a “No” answer.
God follows his profound question with a profound command: “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.”
But that wasn’t all. The Lord gets very descriptive with Ezekiel’s message, “I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life.”
But why? Why inspect a valley of dried up bones? Why preach to them? God answers why: “Then you will know that I am the Lord.”
All of this was a living parable. This eerie earthly scene had spiritual meaning. The bones of the dead stood for something. The Lord says, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel.” In fact, they might as well have been a picture of all of fallen mankind. Us included.
How frightening would it be to walk through the catacombs of Paris and, all of a sudden, find your own dead body among them all! That is how the Bible describes the spiritual condition we were born into: “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world.” The dead cannot do anything for themselves. That includes us.
Yet in this valley of bones and death, God shows Ezekiel, his people, and us his power and grace. “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: O my people, I am going to open your graves and bring you up from them.” God gives his people life, as only God can. And in order to give us life, God sent his Son, Jesus, to take our death upon himself.
God isn’t talking about physical life here. He is speaking of eternal life. Listen to what he says in the final verse of our text, “I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land.” On this Pentecost Sunday we celebrate God’s goodness in our lives as he has sent his Holy Spirit into our hearts. As Paul writes in Ephesians 2, “God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.”
In order to do that, Jesus, our Lord of Life, had to give himself to death. Our death. After Jesus died on the cross, he was placed in a tomb. Unlike the Parisian catacombs, this tomb had no other dead inside.
Just Jesus. And then, three days later, no one. Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that your deadly sins are forgiven. The waters of Baptism have made you alive in Christ. Eternal life is yours.
But walking through this world can still feel like walking “through the valley of the shadow of death.” You don’t have to visit Paris’ ominous underground catacombs to see the dead all gathered together. We see them every day around us. Those who have not heard about their Savior Jesus, those who do not believe are, in a way, the living dead. And we live among them! They might be your friends, your family, the people you work out with, the people you work for. They are a valley of bones.
But the same Lord who raised an entire valley of the dead in front of Ezekiel, is the same Lord who promises to do the same through his word. And he sends you out like his Apostles on Pentecost to boldly share that life-giving word – that word that brought you from death to life: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Share that life-giving message boldly…and watch as God raises the dead. Amen.
I Leave All Things to God’s Direction
7th Sunday of Easter – May 13, 2018
In those days Peter stood up among the believers (a group numbering about a hundred and twenty) 16and said, “Brothers, the Scripture had to be fulfilled which the Holy Spirit spoke long ago through the mouth of David concerning Judas, who served as guide for those who arrested Jesus— 17he was one of our number and shared in this ministry.” 18(With the reward he got for his wickedness, Judas bought a field; there he fell headlong, his body burst open and all his intestines spilled out. 19Everyone in Jerusalem heard about this, so they called that field in their language Akeldama, that is, Field of Blood.)
20”For,” said Peter, “it is written in the book of Psalms, ‘May his place be deserted; let there be no one to dwell in it,’ and, ‘May another take his place of leadership.’ 21Therefore it is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” 23So they proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. 24Then they prayed, “Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.” 26Then they cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.
A few years ago there was a contestant on Jeopardy! that blew away the competition. His name was Watson, and he competed against the two best players in the history of the show. Everyone was amazed. Not only had Watson done the unthinkable and beaten these brilliant contestants, Watson had accomplished that feat as something of an unusual player. You see, Watson was a computer.
He had to listen to the question just like everyone else. He had to buzz in just like the other contestants. And like everybody who competes on Jeopardy! Watson wasn’t allowed to access the internet. After Watson won, everyone asked the same question: “How could a computer do that?”
Watson was years in the making. And as the engineers at IBM constructed Watson they eventually realized they had a choice to make. They could either try to give Watson the answer to every possible question he would ever hear (which would be impossible), or they had to give him principles that would guide him. In the end, they chose to give him rules to follow because they couldn’t foresee every possible question that might be asked.
Now Watson as a computer is a fun little story, but what those IBM engineers learned was a Biblical fact. No person has all the answers to every possible conundrum they will face. It isn’t possible.
Of course, God knows. He knows every problem before we ever encounter it. He sees every issue before it comes to light. And wouldn’t it be nice if he gave us specific answers to every one of our problems? Which college should I attend? Which person should I marry? Which house should I buy? Or, as you look at a call list, which individual should we choose to call to be our next pastor?
After Jesus ascended into heaven, the disciples were asking that very question. One of their own, the disciple named Judas Iscariot, had betrayed Jesus and hanged himself. He was no longer a disciple and follower of Christ. Because of this, Peter stood up and quoted from Psalm 109, saying, “May another take his place of leadership.”
But not just anybody could fill this leadership position. So Peter continues, “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us.” Peter even sets up the parameters for them, “beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us.” This new apostle was to be very familiar with Jesus: his ministry, teachings, miracles, death and resurrection. It made sense, because just as Peter says, “For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.”
Luke tells us, “They proposed two men: Joseph called Barsabbas (also known as Justus) and Matthias. Then they prayed.” After deciding on the two men, they entrusted this decision to the Lord. But how should they go about finding out God’s will and purpose?
How have you figured out those big decisions in your life? Like those disciples, we probably know how we ought to start – with prayer, asking the Lord for guidance and strength. But do we always function that way? When life’s biggest challenges and decision come our way, our first response is usually to gripe and complain or demand that the Lord just give us the answer.
Or, we are tempted to go to other places to find answers. Sometimes we want to find answers out for ourselves apart from God and his direction. We look for worldly “signs” to direct us rather than God and his word.
What guided Jesus during his ministry? It wasn’t signs. It wasn’t his own personal, selfish choices. Quite the opposite! Every decision Jesus made fulfilled God’s Word. His birth in Bethlehem, his miracles, his parables, his suffering, his death and resurrection all followed God’s perfect plan. Jesus perfectly fulfilled his Word to save you.
But where can I find God’s purpose for my life? The apostles had to find out God’s will for a very specific circumstance. They needed to fill the leadership position of Judas Iscariot. Now because apostles were men picked specifically by the Lord, they needed the Lord to tell them who was to fill this void: Joseph or Matthias. So Luke records for us, “Then they prayed, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which of these two you have chosen 25to take over this apostolic ministry, which Judas left to go where he belongs.’”
They asked for the Lord to reveal for them his hidden will. And as always, their prayers were answered as we hear in our final verse, “They cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias; so he was added to the eleven apostles.” In this specific instance, God showed for all the Church that Matthias was to be the twelfth apostle in place of Judas Iscariot. The Lord revealed his will and purpose, and the Church was blessed through it.
So, what about us? If God doesn’t intervene like this in our lives, how are we to know what to do? Remember how those IBM engineers solved the problem of choice for their computer, Watson? They couldn’t give him all the answers to every question. That wasn’t the best way to do it. Instead, they gave the computer principles to follow in various situations.
In a much more perfect way, the Lord does the same thing for you. He gives you those principles to live by in his word. Then he also sends you the tough questions so that you can give him glory by putting those Biblical principles to use.
At the end of his ministry, the prophet Jeremiah was forced to watch his proud city of Jerusalem burn to the ground. He saw the conquering Babylonians destroy his temple and kill his people. At the end of it all, the Babylonians gave him a surprising choice. After being freed from his chains, the Babylonian commander told him, “Come with me to Babylon, if you like, and I will look after you; but if you do not want to, then don’t come.”
The Lord was silent on the matter. Jeremiah could choose whichever path he wanted. Either choices was acceptable. In a way, neither path really mattered that much. What mattered was Jeremiah’s complete trust in the Lord’s promises.
That’s what matters most in your choices, too. You don’t have to cast lots. You don’t have to look for signs. In the end, following God’s will means leaving all things…all things…to his direction. Amen.
Test the Spirits
6th Sunday of Easter – May 6, 2018
Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. 4You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 5They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. 6We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit of truth and the spirit of falsehood. 7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 John 4:1-11)
In the 300 years after Jesus’ death and resurrection, the Christian Church had seen it all. Persecutions spread believers across the known world. Church sprouted up in every corner of the Roman Empire. Christians could be found in every level of society, from slaves to soldiers to Senators, and eventually, even Emperors.
Constantine the Great was that first Emperor to openly declare himself a Christian. He then went on to declare Christianity an accepted religion of the Roman Empire. How far the Christian faith had come! Once persecuted Christians now saw their faith become central to the Roman Empire. It was a miraculous achievement.
That’s when one of Christianity’s greatest dangers arose. It seemed with the Empire becoming Christian, many let their guard down. All sorts of false teachings rose up like weeds. Some pastors began teaching “secret truths” that they had added to God’s Word. Others preached that to be a “true” Christian you had to die by persecution.
Every one of these false teachers and each of their false teachings threw churches into turmoil. But one man surpassed them all. His name was Arius, and his false teaching was so bad, and so enticing, that it sent a shockwave through the entire Christian Church – the reverberations of which can still be felt today.
History tells us that Arius was talk, dark and handsome. No one could preach a sermon as good as he could. He wrote music that people hummed for centuries. But it was what he preached that was so dangerous. Arius said that because Jesus was “begotten of God the Father,” then he must have been less than God the Father.
It sounded so logical. It made so much sense! But it was completely wrong. The problem was that thousands, and eventually millions of believers were captivated by that teaching. And what was the harm? So Arius taught that Jesus was a little less than the Father – some passages even seemed to suggest that.
But it was a big deal. To diminish who Jesus is and what he has done cut away at the central message of Scripture! Years of church councils wrestled with this Arian message until finally they arrived at a Scriptural stance. I bet it sounds familiar: “We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father.” All of that in the Nicene Creed, which we will confess together in just a moment, because of one rogue pastor and his convincing teaching.
Our creeds are filled with those types of stories. In fact, it has been said that every phrase of the creeds that we confess are written in blood. Each word tells a bitter story of pain, division and loss.
So how does that happen? How do churches and pastors and entire synods lose their way? Where do the “Ariuses” come from? John tells us, “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” The believers in the days of Arius stopped doing that. They didn’t check Arius’ false words with Scripture’s true testimony.
So what’s the test? Well, John tells us that, too. “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God.” It all comes down to Christ. Does a teaching keep Christ at the center or does it focus on something or someone else?
Arius may have lived a long time ago, but his teaching and others like it still push down Jesus. John tells us what those teachings really are: “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” And John explains why these false messages are so tempting: “They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them.”
And so do we. It can be hard not to. Maybe Arius’ false teaching is an easy one for you to push aside. What about those today who teach that everyone is going to heaven – isn’t it tempting to believe that? There are churches that focus primarily on helping the poor, rather than on worship and Bible study – doesn’t that sound nice? And there are pastors that just want to talk about you – how great you are, and how you are so nice and talented that heaven is yours…because of you.
Those teachings can be more than tempting. They have pulled us in, at times, too. But remember the difference? Remember how to “test the spirits”? “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” This, then, is our true, Christian faith: Christ came to be one of us, he lived, he taught, he served, then he suffered and died. He still is “of one being with the Father.”
Jesus really is God. He had to be. Quite frankly, if he wasn’t, than what is the point? If Jesus isn’t who he says he is than we’ve made him out to be a liar. He couldn’t be our Savior. Heaven wouldn’t be ours. And all is lost.
That is what it looked like when that pastor, Arius, preached 1700 years ago. He appeared to be the pied piper, playing his tune of false teaching and luring the entire Christian Roman Empire away from Christ with him.
Then came another pastor named Athanasius. Like a lone voice in a storm, he boldly preached that Jesus Christ is God. For his faithful preaching he was exiled by the government and the church…five times! He never wavered. At a gathering called the Council of Nicaea, the group of pastors put together and signed a creed that perfectly summarized who Jesus is. The secretary of that Council was Athanasius. His job was to write down the words. And he did. And that is how it came to be that the much maligned defender of the faith wrote down the words of the Nicene Creed. Words we are about to confess.
They are not empty words. They accurately summarize God’s inspired word. They place Christ at the center. And through Christ, as Athanasius once wrote, that “We look for the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come.” Amen.