God Our Father
Apostles Creed begins: “I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth”
What does it mean? – Monotheism
How do we know God exists? – Faith & Reason
The answer is both simple and complex.
We know about God because God has revealed Himself to us.
Salvation History. Scripture. Experience.
Even when God reveals Himself, God remains a mystery beyond words.
The word mystery is to say something not wholly known. Mystery refers to something partially revealed, much more is hidden.
Though we can know things, much more is beyond our reach or understanding.
“If you understand, it is not God.”
I AM WHO AM. His very nature is “to be”
He is beyond what human words can describe, beyond what human thoughts can conjure. We are pondering a mystery that cannot fit in our minds.
It is often easier to say what God is not, such as God has no beginning or end, or God is not subject to the limitations of space and time.
We are often attached to our senses, however know truths that are beyond them. (Justice.)
You don’t see faith taking a walk or justice eating a sandwich.
Imagery helps us to understand what we cannot directly see, hear, or touch.
The foundational image that God has revealed to us is the Trinity. One God in three Persons.
It is the central mystery of our faith.
“Triune” tri + unus three-one, three-oneness
Then God said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…” (Gen 1:26)
Not three, but one God. The same “substance” or “essence”. Distinct from one another, different persons. Different relation/relationships.
Following the creed “We believe in God… The “Father almighty”
-look at the first person of the Trinity
FATHER: What does it mean to call God “Father”?
More than the old and honored title, as Christians we claim it in a special way because of Jesus.
When Jesus Christ took on human nature, He was able to reveal His Father to us in the way that only a child can speak about a parent.
Jesus called God “Abba” … intimacy, it implies an intimate and loving relationship.
Almighty – no creature, no power, no force in creation is more powerful than God is.
ANOTHER REASON TO CALL GOD “FATHER”
It acknowledges God as the CREATOR – the Father – of everything that is.
God did not need to create the world but freely chose to do so.
In creating the world, God wishes to share His love and goodness with every creature, but especially with us, the people He created in His image. (Man and Woman, Nuptial Imagery).
God’s plan for all creatures to live in loving union with their Creator is what the Garden of Eden represents.
GOD IS TRUTH AND LOVE
Love- full, faithful, fruitful, free
For love to be true, it must be freely given and received.
Original Sin rejects God’s love. Jesus reconciles humanity with divinity.
Freedom implies choices. With the freedom to choose love and goodness, is the freedom to chose hate and evil… to be in darkness over light.
“Why am I here?” “What is my ultimate destiny?” God’s plan is that we should spend eternity joyfully in perfect union with Him. (will explore in later chapter)
Another important thing of creation is that a reality exists beyond our senses
In the Nicene Creed, we say that we believe in God “maker of all things visible and invisible.”
What we do know is the existence of angels.
We are bodied intellectual spirits. Angels are beings of spirit, not matter.
They have intelligence and will. They have individuality and they are immortal.
“Angel” comes from the Greek angelos meaning “messenger.” They are God’s servants and messengers; they glorify God without ceasing. (both Old and New Testament)
-unite with us in praising God (Eucharist) and watch over each of us from conception to death.