Yes, I graduated from seminary, and yet I still have a couple more classes I’m finishing up. One of them is going through the documents, Creeds, Confessions that define the theology of my denomination, the Reformed Church in America. I’m having to write a bunch of reflections on differents aspects of these writings, and I offer them here.
Every way of understanding the world involves creeds and confessions. “Creed” comes from the Latin word meaning “I believe”, and a Confession from the Latin for “acknowledge”. A Creed or Confession, then, is simply a distillation of what you acknowledge and believe. There’s nothing weird or particularly “Catholic” about it.
From Creeds to Trinity
If you are a Christian, no matter which part of the family you call home, your beliefs almost certainly fall in line with what have been called the “Ecumenical Creeds”, which are the oldest and simplest articulations of the Christian essentials. They include the Apostle’s, Nicene, and Athanasian Creeds.
Now, if you were going to start writing out the core of what you believe, where would you begin? The interesting thing about these Ecumenical Creeds is that they are built entirely, both in foundation and structure, around the doctrine of the Trinity. Why?
As I said the other day while introducing Lent this year, the Lenten season has historically been marked by three practices of those that participate in it. Prayer and fasting tend to get most of the attention, but almsgiving is another component of a Lent-historically-done-well. Almsgiving is the ancient term for giving materially of your resources for the purpose of charity, love, and grace.
I have never been good at giving my money away. Tithing has always been difficult for me to practice; giving to the homeless has been hard; and I always have a good excuse why I’m not able to give to some cause greater than myself. Sure, I’ll talk about the organization or even write a blog post in support of it, but it’s hard for me to part ways with my money.
This season, however, I wanted to try an experiment to fight against this and hope and pray that God meets me in it and grows me in deep, lasting ways.
This Lent, I want to give away some of my money everyday. For Monday through Saturday (the Church considers Sundays Lent “mini-breaks”), I want to give some amount of money to a non-profit or charity that can use it to help others.
But I need help.
If you have a non-profit or charity or social justice organization that you particularly like, could you leave a comment below telling me what it is?