Saturday, January 28, 2012

Saint Augustine and the Creed of the Lord's Prayer

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So recently, I was reading Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love by Saint Augustine and I was reading Chapter II: The Creed and the Lord's Prayer. You may ask why Saint Augustine and if I was Catholic I think he would be my Patron Saint because he is the Saint of Brewers and Sore Eyes and quite frankly I have or love both of those things. Well, it's a short chapter that really jumped out at me. I mean everyone knows the Lord's Prayer:

           The Lord's Prayer

     5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love xto  
     stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen 
     by others. yTruly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you 
     pray, zgo into your room and shut the  
     door and pray to your Father who is in 
     secret. aAnd your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
     7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as bthe Gentiles do, for   
     cthey think that they will be heard dfor their many words. Do not be like them, 
     efor your Father knows what you need before you ask him. fPray then like this:

                     g“Our Father in heaven,
                     hhallowed be iyour name.1
                     10 jYour kingdom come,
                     kyour will be done,2
                       lon earth as it is in heaven.
                     11 mGive us nthis day our daily bread,3
                     12 and forgive us our debts,
                       as we also have forgiven our debtors.
                     13 And olead us not into temptation,
                       but pdeliver us from qevil.4
          14 rFor if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive 
          you, 15 sbut if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father 
          forgive your trespasses. (ESV Mathew 6:5-15)

What was interesting was his insight into it and the Creed. So let us take a look at the Lord's Prayer. The first things that we see Jesus say was don’t pray like the hypocrites that love to show off. I can say with most certainty that praying out loud on street corners will not ever be me. I am not an out loud prayer, which runs me into trouble when as a worship leader I need to pray out loud, it’s not the most enjoyable thing.

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Saint Augustine talks about three theological virtues: faith believes, hope and love pray but without faith nothing else is possible, so therefore faith prays too. Once again everything revolves around prayer. Which lead to the question how do we pray or a deeper look "How shall they invoke him in whom they have not believed?”

As you read through Saint Augustine's chapter he continues to shares his struggle on this idea of Faith, Love, and Hope and how it all works together. Before I read this section of his handbook I too had some difficulty understanding how faith, love and hope all mix together. He uses the Lord's Prayer to help explain it, along with the Creed.

Basically the realization that I came to was that the three are interdependent without one you can have the other. How the Creed and the Lord's Prayer fit into understanding is that they are here to show us how to talk to God. I still don't claim I understand it well but I understand that without prayer there is no faith, without faith there is no love and without love there is no hope. So for now I pray that I can have the faith that moves mountains so that I can be a man who has faith, love and hope.

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The Apostles Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.[17][18]

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