For the next four weeks we’re studying creeds at Northwood. We’re getting a little academic (in today’s sermon alone we learned about ousia, orthodoxy and the council of Nicea. We also talked about Constantine and Arianism. (Basically, we tried to cover a semester’s worth of Church History 101 class in approximately 10 minutes. What!? It can be done!) In our exploration of the creeds, we’re also going to be thinking about what it means to use the creeds as a launchpad for personal devotion, and to look at these ancient words and be open to where the spirit might be speaking to us.
If you were at NPC today and want to dive into some of the history of the creeds, I urge you to take a little spin around the wikipedia and other articles above as well as some of the sources cited. They give a great overview.
For the second part of thinking about the creeds, that is, picking a word or phrase and using it to let your spiritual imagination wander, I talked for a few minutes about the phrase “We believe in one God,
the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.”
This idea has been rolling around in my head for awhile. What does it mean to be seen, to let others see us as we really are? I had a friend staying with me this week who was attending a training with Dr. Brene Brown. As we chatted about what she was learning this week, that theme came up several times. Dr. Brown researches this very question and tries to help people overcome some of the barriers to being fully seen. I talked, too, about this fascinating study about why young children cover their eyes when they hide. The easy answer is that they’re not able to see things from the point of view of another person. In other words, if they can’t see you, they assume you can’t see them either. This leads to some really hilarious photos of children who think they are winning at the game of hide and seek, when, in fact, they are in plain view. I also read from this lovely post about what happens when people let their guard down for a photography session.
What does it mean to be seen?