For most of my life, I was very reluctant to see any value in creeds. It seemed to be too much rote, with too many inflexible ideas. But then I listened to Krista Tippet’s 2003 interview with Jaroslav Pelikan, who died on May 13, 2006. He was a scholar who devoted his life to exploring the vitality of ancient theology and creeds. He argued that even modern pluralists need strong statements of belief.
Credo: Historical and Theological Guide to Creeds and Confessions of Faith in the Christian Tradition is his wonderful 2003 book.
I found new meanings and rich worship within many of the Creeds. The past few years, I have made it a point to incorporate Creeds in my classes.
I have especially liked the Maasai Creed.
We believe in the one High God, who out of love created the beautiful world and everything good in it. He created Man and wanted Man to be happy in the world. God loves the world and every nation and tribe on the Earth. We have known this High God in darkness, and now we know Him in the light. God promised in the book of His word, the Bible, that He would save the world and all the nations and tribes.
We believe that God made good His promise by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, a man in the flesh, a Jew by tribe, born poor in a little village, who left His home and was always on safari doing good, curing people by the power of God, teaching about God and man, showing the meaning of religion is love. He was rejected by his people, tortured and nailed hands and feet to a cross, and died. He lay buried in the grave, but the hyenas did not touch him, and on the third day, He rose from the grave. He ascended to the skies. He is the Lord.
We believe that all our sins are forgiven through Him. All who have faith in Him must be sorry for their sins, be baptized in the Holy Spirit of God, live the rules of love and share the bread together in love, to announce the Good News to others until Jesus comes again. We are waiting for Him. He is alive. He lives. This we believe. Amen
(The Maasai Creed is a creed composed in 1960 by the Maasai people of East Africa in collaboration with missionaries from the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. The creed attempts to express the essentials of the Christian faith within the Maasai culture.)