Friday, 10 April 2009

Good Friday

Maybe I did the same thing last Good Friday, but I'm not going to look, and that way, I'll know if my beliefs change and grow from year to year.

So here, if anyone's bothered, is my Credo. Yes, I know that's tautology, since credo means 'I believe'.

I believe in God who is neither male nor female, who embodies all perfections, but without an actual body and who may or may not be the Prime Mover, but if yes, then did no more than light the blue touchpaper and started evolution and such like.

I believe that Jesus of Nazareth was an extraordinary Jew who was born of two earthly parents, whose mother was not married when she got pregnant, and who must have had her own very supportive parents who helped her through, and whose intended, Joseph, stepped up and did the right thing, even though he may not have been the biological father.

I believe that those parents and grandparents, somewhere along the line, realised they had a very special lad on their hands and the Jewish community in Galilee must have thought so too, because somehow, he was educated in their ways.

I believe that the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth were both extraordinary and ordinary in that they took a direction in which the Pharisees of the time were already headed, erasing the difference between the sacred and the profane and allowing ordinary Jewish people to have far more responsibility for their own rituals and care of their faith, Jesus pushed this further, right out amongst the people. He took the community's pre-existing strengths, such as community itself, caring for others, feeding others, teaching and sharing, and he preached about the underlying essence of it, he made those qualities the most important part of the faith.

I believe that Jesus was the son of God in the way that all of us are sons and daughters of that God.

I believe that he was charismatic and assembled an entourage of ordinary men and women. Very ordinary.

I believe he included the one more educated member of his group, Judas Iscariot, in his own plans to fulfil the prophecies of the Jews because he believed in the future of Judaism.

I believe that Pontius Pilate did not want to execute him, but he also had a prefecture to run. He had to do the dirty work of the Sadducees so that Passover would go smoothly without the feared disruption. I also believe that in telling them that he had written what he had written and that he wouldn't change, 'King of the Jews', he was saying something about the impact Jesus had made, even on the Romans.

I believe that crucifixion is a horrifying death and that Jesus could have avoided it.
I believe that his mother suffered appallingly.
I believe that the world was changed by that death and by the testimony of his followers, but I don't believe that God needed the death of a human to propitiate the sins of humanity.
I believe that the crucifixion focuses us on the teachings of Jesus and it is from these that we learn right from wrong.

I believe that through Baptism and through the act of communion from the Last Supper, John the Baptist and Jesus, gave us all the opportunity to be part of the faith. Baptism replaced circumcision as the covenant of faith and the breaking of bread and the sharing of wine passes the responsibility for continuing the faith to us all.

I believe that Christian Faith is strengthened by acknowledging the ordinariness of Jesus rather than the supernatural and that we make ourselves ridiculous when we get too far away from that.

But hey, that's just me.


Anonymous said...

some people seem to forget that Jesus was a Jew.
Feel free to quote liberally from the piece I sent you. Ha. But some of what I write there still haunts me, having been instilled into my brain when I was 21 and emotionally a lot younger than that.
- Karen

Schneewittchen said...

I hadn't really thought about how that kind of thing might actually affect people, probably I didn't come across it until I was much older - in fact I've never been to one of their services. I think we get inoculated in school by Anglicanism in Britain. Many people dislike that, but it helps you to withstand the kraziness.

Sleepy said...

A lot of Jews 'forget' Jesus was a Jew!