…on the first line of the Creed: I Believe in One God the Father Almighty
There are two interesting things to notice about these words of the Creed. The first is that the Creed makes not the slightest attempt at argument for the existence of one God. The Creed assumes that the person professing it has already done their homework or has, at the very least, made the choice to say, “I believe in order that I may understand.”
Those professing the Creed have already, by whatever route, come to the conviction that the things being professed are so. The person professing the Creed is not trying to persuade somebody else to believe what he believes. He is simply telling us that he believes it.
There is an old joke about the Southerner who was asked if he believed in infant baptism. He replied, “Believe in it? I have seen it done!”
This illustrates the way in which the Creed uses the word ‘believe’. ‘Believe’ here means more than merely affirming an abstract philosophical opinion about the existence of God. As we shall see presently, the Church does not even regard the mere existence of God as an article of faith. But to believe in “one God, the Father, the Almighty” does carry us into the arena of faith, since it moves us into the realm of personal relationship. Believing in that sense means entrusting one’s entire life—lock, stock, and barrel—your spouse, your kids, your health, your job, your hopes, fears, dreams, wounds, aspirations, loves, hates, talent, success, failures, heart, guts, and marrow and all the things you haven’t yet thought of into the hands of this personal God to order and dispose them for his glory and your ultimate salvation.
It is to give yourself entirely to God in the conviction that you are encountering not an abstract Ground of Being or First Cause, but a Father who loves you so much that while you were still dead in trespasses and sins, he gave his only Son to be crucified and raised for you. That will mean, ultimately, entrusting oneself into hands that had nails driven through them, lay dead in a tomb for three days, and were ultimately lifted up in unthinkable blessing when the risen Christ ascended into heaven to intercede for us at the right hand of the Father. But for now, we are focusing on the first clause of the Creed and the one God and Father Almighty who sent that Son to earth for us.