Has reciting the creed so far been easy for you?
Have the meditations given you that boost for the day, that feel good factor and helped you to centre your day around your belief?
Today you will be challenged. Today I believe we have reached the core of the creed. The core of our belief, and in our times, perhaps the most controversial statement.
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
Conception. We, today, use this word to mean not just the creation of a child, but also to mean forming a reality from an idea. Inventors have an idea and then go through the process of making that concept become tangible. We form a conception of what an animal is when comparing animals to each other. When we join up the dots to combine reflective thinking and abstract ideas we conceptualise.
What these all have in common is that to conceive is to bring something to fruition, and carries overtones of being fertile, giving birth and creating something new.
The use of this word in the creed is to bring the intangible ‘word’ of God into the tangible person, Jesus: son of God and our Lord. In so doing we must acknowledge and accept the third person of the trinity, the Holy Spirit; often described as the shy member of the God Head.
In the beginning we are told, “the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Genesis 1:2) Was he the concept or the idea of what was to be created. Was he the vision?
When God made man, the concept was that we should be in His image. So God imparted some of his Spirit or breath into Adam as he formed him. It is this spirit that continues to point us to God throughout our lives and convinces us of the wrong within us.
Within the old covenant the Spirit appeared and guided through judges, prophets, priests and kings. These appointed leaders were given power, words, visions and strengths as required; given through the breath, anointing or invitation of the spirit. Different gifts and identities and methods, yet all with the same purpose. That of inspiration to be holy, to show mercy, be humble and look to the future, to another redeemer and deliverer.
Made most clear of course, in the prophecies, the promise of this Emmanuel is the predominant concept of the old covenant. Rightly it is when the spirit of God moves his messengers to speak, we have words that adjust our attitude, call us to question and soothes us with grace; the best is yet to come. (Isaiah 9:2-6; 11:1-9; 40:1-5;59:21)
It was necessary then, that when it was time for the fulfilling of the promise, the spirit was involved in a quiet, unobtrusive manner serving God the Father and the Son. The spirit was the seed that would bring the plan to fruition. This seed did not look for prowess, status or power. He chose a humble, devote young girl, ready to take on this mission. One who would be strong yet partnered to a loyal husband, who would watch and learn as she saw her son grow and become a man, who would support and challenge him and who would ultimately grieve his death.
This spirit, who we acknowledge as we say these words, “who was conceived of the Holy Spirit” quietly must work in us, through the grace of God and the redemption of Christ.
If we do not accept the importance, relevance and power of the miraculous then we deny the Spirit and the truth is not in us. If we claim the power of the Spirit but do not have the Word the truth is not in us. If we want the power of God but do not have the redemption of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit within us we cannot speak the truth.
Lord, let me hear the whisper of the Spirit within; act in the grace you abundantly provide in the redemption of Christ by showing mercy and love – living in peace throughout this day and always.
In the manner of the spirit, quietly and unassumingly connect with others and share your faith today.