Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Creeds and the Lord's Prayer - Always the Same?

It's been so long since I've written a blog, I'm having difficulty finding what I want on the web site. They seem to be changing it to "make it better", but I can't even remember how I did it before!

Isn't that much the same way we are with life? We expect life to go along just as it has in the past - no changes for me! That is unless I decide to make the change. But what makes me the one entitled to make changes and no one else? Perhaps it's my feeling of importance. Or perhaps it's just that I'm too lazy to do things in another way or learn another method.

Tradition does tie us to our past and ground us in a good way, but we can have tradition and still vary it somewhat. For one, I'm tired of reciting the Apostles' Creed every Sunday. I've said it so many times that it's lose its meaning to me. It has become rote. Sure, I could spend a couple of hours reviewing the meaning of the words, and hopefully they would have a renewed meaning for me. But there are other creeds available to use in worship, or we could have a Sunday school class or small group write a creed that would be used. One church had its confirmation class write a creed each year, and used it on confirmation Sunday. Then it was used again on the Sunday that that particular class was recognized as graduates from high school. I'd like to have seen it used more often during those 6 years in between. Wouldn't that have refreshed the youth's faith? And it would have made me think again about just what I believe.

I challenge you to take a few minutes and write your own creed. It may never be used in a worship service, but it will make you think about just what you believe!

While I'm thinking about change in worship, how about the Lord's Prayer? We seldom really listen to what we are saying as we recite it. Did you note what I said? Recite it. And that's usually what we do. We don't really pray the prayer most of the time. I can think of three ways to make it more meaningful to us. First, we could sing it on occasion. Most people know the tune most often used, and singing it together brings new meaning. We could pray the prayer in a litany form, with one side of the congregation praying a phrase and then the other. That would be simple to accomplish when we use a projection screen. One side would read the bold and the other the light print. The third way is with some simple movement, either by an individual, a liturgical choir group, or even by the congregation itself. Movement give meaning to some people where words don't.

I guess what I'm trying to say is let's get out of the rut but still keep our Christian heritage or verbalizing our beliefs and of praying the Lord's Prayer. That heritage is important and connects us to all those Christians who have gone before us.