Saturday, August 20, 2011

Statement of Faith …

I believe in the one holy God of Israel who created heaven and earth and all of its inhabitants to live in community with the Triune God and with each other. Through our sin, both personal and corporate, we are separated from God and unable to bring ourselves back into communion. When the words of the prophets went unheard and unheeded because of our inherent rebellion, God in loving kindness and steadfast mercy sent Jesus Christ into the world so that we might be restored to a right relationship through the sacrifice made on our behalf.

Knowing that we continually struggle in all of our relationships, the Holy Spirit draws us near to God through admonition and encouragement. Through the scriptures of both Old and New Testaments, we see testimony to the steadfast faithfulness of God and are given instruction to guide us. Scripture is divinely given and an infallible witness to God's saving grace through Jesus Christ. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, our hearts are softened to hear the gospel message of salvation and our minds and souls are strengthened for the Kingdom work to which we are each called.

Although God saves each of us individually, there is a communal nature to our worship. We are meant to gather as the beloved children of God to form the body of Christ. On earth, the Kingdom of God is made visible through the local church. The church then is called to worship and action through the proclamation of the Word and the Sacraments of Baptism and The Lord's Supper. Our baptisms remind us that God knew us before we were formed in our mother's wombs and that each of us is called to be in relationship with God through Christ. The Sacrament of the Lord's Supper is a symbol that we are united as one body and nourished by the food which Christ provides. Both sacraments are visible signs of the promises and blessings of God's covenant agreement with all those who believe.

As believers, we are equipped by the Holy Spirit with gifts suitable for work in the Kingdom of God. We are called to be faithful and cheerful givers of our time, talents, and gifts so that others might be lifted up out of the oppression of physical, mental, and spiritual bondage. No longer are we to remain isolated from creation. Instead, we are called to full participation in God's mission. The saints of the church are to be set apart - marked for radical discipleship - as the Holy Spirit continually sanctifies us and teaches us the heart and mind of Christ.

When we realize the fathomless depths of God's love, we can't help but bow our knees before the throne, and cry "Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord God Almighty." As we bow, God enlarges our hearts and our minds to reach out to others and transforms us from lonely and selfish individuals into joyful people of faith who stand in the intersection of the sacred and the ordinary.

May it be so in our hearts and lives today so that we are faithful until the day when Christ returns to redeem all of creation.

No comments:

Post a Comment