Every day I recite the Creed in my prayers.
Every Sunday I recite the same Creed with the members of my local faith community.
To be a Christian is to have faith in the Resurrection of Christ.
St. Paul even tells us that if there is no resurrection event, if Christ is still in the grave, then our faith is not only null but void of any true value.
But.... As ashamed as I am to say this after years of ministry and personal devotion...
I deny the Resurrection.
Despite reciting the creeds daily.
Despite professing that I believe in God the Son.
Despite all my earnest attempts at having faith.
Despite how often I study the scriptures, pray, meditate, and seek to experience the God of Jesus Christ (the God of resurrection) I still find myself denying the Resurrection. And if you were being honest you would admit it too because every time you see someone in need and do not help you deny the resurrection. Every time we deny the beggar, the hungry, the naked we deny the Resurrection. Every time we do not turn the other cheek and wield our words as weapons we deny the Resurrection. Every time we fail to forgive those who have wronged us we deny the Resurrection. Every time we choose theology over love we deny the Resurrection. Every time we choose a flag over the cross we deny the resurrection. Every time we choose what is "practical" over what is Christ-like we deny the Resurrection. Every time we exclude, turn our backs, and cover our ears to our neighbors, enemies, foreigners, and the addicted, abused, and sick we deny the Resurrection of Christ.
So I proclaim the creed every day. I believe Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and rose from the dead.
Yet I still seem hell bent on denying it by the way I often choose to live.
Belief and Faith have to be more than merely mental assent.
We can confess the Resurrection with our lips until Kingdom come but nothing will change until it becomes a reality so rooted in the marrow of our bones that it leads us to confessing the Resurrection with our hands, finances, time, resources, and lives.
41"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' 44 Then they also will answer, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?' 45 Then he will answer them, saying, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."