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Lenten Devotional (27) & The Nature of Creeds
Laying down our lives is a distinctly Christian commitment. Only the Christian can truly say they follow a Lord who died for them. The sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross is the model of Christian existence. The Christian faith is sacrificial. The saint looks at his brother and says, “You are a follower of the crucified Lord and my duty is to lay down my life for you.”
“This is how we know love: Jesus laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.”
Now, at this point, it is tempting to list ten examples of sacrifice, but one would naturally feel like once he completes the list, his sacrificial disposition ends. Laying down our lives for one another is not always calculated; it is generally an act of service at a time when we least expect it.
True love sees an opportunity to lay down our lives and seizes it with wonder at the Lord of glory who gave his body on a tree. In communion with one another, sacrifice becomes the language of love. As C.S. Lewis describes: “When God becomes a Man and lives as a creature among His own creatures in Palestine, then indeed His life is one of supreme self-sacrifice and leads to Calvary.”
Prayer: Our Father, in these uncertain times, there will be specific opportunities to serve my neighbor. May you grant me health and willingness to sacrifice my time and energy in the name of our Crucified Lord, Amen.
*John Frame argues in his Systematic Theology that God is a totalitarian God (28) since he is the ultimate Lord and the only one with the right to be Lord.
**A section from my recent homily at a wedding:
You are crossing into a new society; you are crossing into a formation of a new household, but every crossing needs to be christened by the vows of love sprinkled by the blood of the Lord of Marriage, Jesus Christ. This is a Christian wedding, which means that this ceremony only makes sense through the lens of a world created by Jesus Christ. He is the one who accompanied you from birth to this very moment. Therefore, the vows you will repeat and confirm are not rooted in mystical syncretism but in the presupposition that only the Trinitarian God can give meaning to this event called marriage.
***In discussions about the centrality of creeds in the life of the Church, I was reminded of this three-minute summary of the Nicene Creed.