Saturday, January 05, 2013

The Twelfth Day of Christmas

Twelve drummers drumming, so how does one drum the Christian Faith into willing minds?

Peter.—1. I believe in God the Father Almighty;
John.—2. Maker of heaven and earth;
James.—3. And in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord;
Andrew.—4. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;
Philip.—5. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried;
Thomas.—6. He descended into hell, the third day he rose again from the dead;
Bartholomew.—7. He ascended into heaven, sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
Matthew.—8. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead;
James, the son of Alpheus.—9. I believe in the Holy Ghost, the holy Catholic Church;
Simon Zelotes.—10. The communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins;
Jude the brother of James.—11. The resurrection of the body;
Matthias.—12. Life everlasting. Amen.
Although it is doubtful that the Apostles pronounced the Apostles' Creed at all, the twelve points that the creed contains is based fully on the Apostolic Faith inherited from the Apostles after Pentecost. The Original Apostles did not have the word "Trinity" but they did understand the Father, Son and Holy Ghost in Whose three-fold name they were commanded to baptise. As good Jews, they would have understood God the Father creating the world. They were certainly present with Jesus in His Life, His Death and His Resurrection. They will have seen the Transfiguration, the miracles, the ascension and believe Him when He tells of His return as Christ the Triumphant King.

The formation of the Church is in their hands and they already have the pattern for its existence in their hands. They will not know the word "Catholic", but they do understand the centrality of what they have been taught and the need for people to find The Way through their testimony and teaching. They recognise the need to be One in Christ, both now and in the World To Come. The seeds of the Creed are within the Apostles' understanding and will be ratified by the great councils to come.

The Catholic Creeds speak of the Apostolic Faith in which we are told of the fruits of the Spirit which lead to the beatitudes borne from cultivating the Gifts of the Holy Spirit in addition to the gifts of Creation and Life under the Law of God announced in the Gospels in which the Glorious Trinity expounds His twofold covenant ratified in the blood of Christ Crucified.

All this comes from the Birth of a Baby, True Love born among us. The Faith is simple, made complex by the frailty and failings of Mortal Man who have lost the language of heaven and learn it by the convolution and interaction of so many ideas. We cannot express the faith in its entirety. Its words cannot be entirely spoken save only in the language of living.  Eternity is beyond our comprehension because of the lack of Time. The Language of Eternity can only be spoken by lives lived completely according to the whole, not in the part. The Christ Child bridges temporality and Eternity and completes our language for us. Twelve days are over, the Epiphany begins.


Jefferson said...

Father, these have been lovely. Thanks for sharing them with us!

Jefferson said...

Father, these have been lovely. Thanks for sharing them with us!

Warwickensis said...

Jefferson, thank you! I'm glad you found them stimulating!