This week I had a little reflect on the second half of that middle part of the Apostles’ Creed. This part is one that is sometimes hard – a little “woo woo” for some rational, scientific minds. However, I find that this is less and less the case for me – I’m allowing myself to believe in more impossible things. I think it might even be good for me. Wherever you are with believing in impossible things, this part still says something beautiful, at least to me, about the God that I believe in, that I trust.
On the third day he rose again.
Jesus died. However, that’s not where the story ends. The central narrative of the Christian story is not a tragedy, but a comedy (in the sense of a Greek play). This is the narrative that I have hitched my narrative to, in the words of Desmond Tutu, that “goodness is stronger than evil, love is stronger than hate, light is stronger than darkness, and life is stronger than death.”
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
The story of Christ’s ascension is important for me, because it communicates the transition of Christ from the particular to the universal, connecting the person living in one place and time, to every place and every time. I follow God, who is both infinitely knowable and unknowable – the Rabbi of Nazareth and the cosmic Christ.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
What I see in this is that we have not been abandoned by God, even when it might feel like that is the case. We are on a journey whose end is God, whose love for both the living and the dead will continue eternally. ‘Judge’ used to be a bit of a scary word for me in this part, but I think that that is because I have only been able to imagine a judge who is as understanding and merciful as me and those I know. However, the God I trust and believe in is abounding in steadfast love and mercy, and so maybe judgement is not something I have to fear.
I think that’s all I have to say on that for today. Only one more part of the Apostles’ Creed left. I’m looking forward to it!
Thank you, and thanks be to God!