Creeds are an important expression of our Christian faith both individually and corporately. For some, it’s a summary of what they believe; for others, the creeds also provide a framework to reflect on the mystery of God and his actions in history. I recall a comment from a member of the church once during a low moment in his spiritual journey, he told me reciting the Nicene creed, “We believe…” uplifted him when he left so alone as a Christian. In other words, the creed in this case reconnected his individual faith journey with the corporate journey of God’s people in the past to the present.
Besides the ancient creeds, I’ve always been fascinated how Christians in different contexts would articulate their faith in God. When I first came across the Masai Creed, I was captured by its capacity to bring together both the theologically significant and the contextually authentic (in this case African) elements that reaches across time and space to us here in Malaysia too. Here is the Masai Creed below:
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.
I wonder what would a Malaysian Creed look like? I suppose this would be a work in progress where we might see one formulation some day. For now, I would recommend the Maasai Creed as one way to connect us with our fellow Christians in the African continent and Christians as a global community. Perhaps as we reflect deeper about our faith through the lenses of the Nicene Creed – and the Masai Creed in this complex and yet beautiful country like Malaysia, we would find some clarity how to articulate our faith as Christians in our time and space too.
~ Rev Dr Sivin Kit