Excerpt from Matthew 2:13-18
". . .When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under, according to the time that he had learned from the wise men. . ."
Reflection by Quinn G. Caldwell
The word "creed" comes from the Latin "credo," which means "I believe." It’' a statement of faith, an attempt to capture in words the essence of the content of the faith. To judge from this story, Herod's might have gone something like, "I believe in the divine right of kings. I believe in intimidation, fear, and murder. I believe that infants and peasants do not matter. I believe in the sword. I believe in me."
That is not a Christian creed. You've probably heard of some of the great Christian creeds, like the Nicene Creed and the Apostles' Creed. But the best one I know of, at least for this time of year, is one we always say together on Christmas Eve at my church. I don’t know a better statement of our faith.
So, in defiance of all who place their faith in themselves or their swords, in rulers or in fear, will you rise to your feet if you are able, and join me in it now? Do not be quiet, do not be timid; God knows Herod’s not.
A Christmas Creed from Latin America
I believe in Jesus Christ and in the power of the Gospel which began in Bethlehem.
I believe in the One whose spirit glorified a small village,
of whose coming the shepherds saw the sign,
and for whom there was no room in the inn.
I believe in the One whose life changed the course of history,
for whom the kings of the earth had no power,
and who was not understood by the proud.
I believe in the One to whom the poor, the oppressed, the discouraged,
the afflicted, the sick, the blind and the leprous gave welcome
and accepted as Savior.
I believe in the One who, with love, changed the hearts of the proud,
and with his life, showed that it is more important to serve than to be served,
and that the greatest joy is in giving your life for others.
I believe in peace, which means justice among all peoples and nations
and love among all.
I believe in reconciliation, forgiveness and the transforming power of the gospel.
I believe that Christmas is strength and power, and that this world can change
if, with humility and faith, we kneel before the manger.
I believe that I must be the first one to do so. Amen.
About the Author
Quinn G. Caldwell is Associate Minister of Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.