From Vicar Shepard  April 2024
Dear Saints at Trinity, We continue on in our look at the liturgy this month by taking a look at the creed. As you know, there are three creeds that we use in worship depending on the time or season. These are the Apostle’s, the Nicaean, and the Athanasian creed. In the fifth century, Tyrannius Rufinus wrote a commentary on the Apostle’s Creed where he records the tradition surrounding the creed itself. By his attestation the Apostle’s Creed came about on the day of Pentecost when the Apostles, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, uttered this creed as a unanimous testimony of the faith. Whether this is true, we may not know. It is, however, our oldest creed dating back to the early third century (A.D. 200s) where it was intimately connected to the Baptismal rite even as we have it today in the form of questions. The Nicaean Creed was begun at the council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. Here, it was presented almost as we have it today. At the following council, the council of Constantinople in A.D. 381, the words “and through the son” were added to the third article. Known as the filioque (meaning proceeding), it was added as a statement of divine authority and as a clarification of the inner economy of God. This addition has become one of the major contentions between the Western Church and the Eastern Orthodox. The Athanasian creed was written in the late fifth century, in France by St. Athanasius. The purpose of the creed was to fight against the trinitarian heresies which were beginning to arise. The creed focuses upon the humanity and divinity of Christ, as well as the “unity in trinity and trinity in unity” within the Godhead which is why it is traditionally recited on Trinity Sunday. The word “creed” comes from the Latin “credo” meaning: I believe. The creeds are a statement of belief. This is what’s so ironic about the “no creeds but Christ” crowd. That is a statement of belief, that is a creed. Albeit, a selfdefeating one, but a creed nonetheless. If we all believe in Jesus then what is the point of the creeds? The point is unity. In order to be united in a common belief you must know what it is you believe. The creeds confess who God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are. They confess the humanity of Christ, his crucifixion, his death, and his resurrection. As well, memorizing the creeds are a great way to have an answer in your back pocket for when someone asks you what you do believe about God. They aren’t empty words but a confession of Christ as Lord. Blessed Eastertide! Vicar Shepard P. S. Please join us for book club! Starting this Tuesday (4/2/24), we will begin with an overview of the ideas contained within Carl Trueman’s book The Rise and Triumph of the Modern Self. Have you ever looked at the world today and thought, “how did we get here?” Trueman offers an answer to that question with his clear and thorough history of ideas starting right before the enlightenment all the way to today. Want to come, but don’t have the book yet? No trouble, join us anyway for a fun and thoughtful discussion!

Trinity Lutheran Church - LCMS
16 12th Ave NE,  Hampton, Iowa  50441
641-456-4816
Rev. Karl C. Bollhagen