“I have a hard time with Jesus.”
One of my friends said that awhile back. I understood.
To say “I believe in God” leaves space in our lives. To believe in Jesus Christ, as the creed we are looking at says, is a much bigger step. Options are narrowed, ambiguity starts to slip away. Particularly when we realize that this creed doesn’t say “I believe that.”
- I believe that Jesus was a good teacher.
- I believe that Jesus provides a good example for living.
- I believe that Jesus told me that you are an idiot.
The creed says “and in Jesus Christ” and spends several clauses identified which Jesus and what he did.
Let’s be honest. Believing in someone is tough. Whether we mean “to believe in their existence” or “to believe in their trustworthiness,” it’s a tougher statement to make for the first time than many of the people who say “I believe” remember. And even when you have no question about someone’s existence AND their trustworthiness, you can still have a hard time with them.
I mean look at the disciples. The first ones. The twelve. They believed in the existence of Jesus. He was right in front of them. They knew that they could trust him. He kept his word. But though they could trust him, they could never contain him.
And that’s why, I think, that often we are uncertain about starting down this part of the creed, saying out loud that “I believe in Jesus Christ.” Because it has made so many people crazy. We’re afraid of what might happen to us.
But here’s the deal. Do you believe in me? I mean, most of you have never met me face to face. I just show up in your inbox.
Now that’s faith.