I know in many churches the Age of the Hymnal has passed into distant history. Does your church still use hymnals, or even own hymnals?
I grew up in a non-denominational church, which Tim Hawkins would call “a Baptist church with a cool website.” Really, it was too small to have a cutting-edge website…and I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s before church websites were a thing…
We always used hymnals. But I don’t really remember ever using the back of the hymnal…No, I don’t mean the index. I mean the little section with liturgical readings.
I appreciate that our Baptist church recognizes the value of church history, the church calendar, and liturgy. Our services aren’t full of pre-written prayers and rote recitation. But when a piece of prose or poetry glorifies God with its truth-telling, our pastors feel free to use it in the service.
For example, at our Wednesday evening prayer meeting this week, we turned to #621 in the baaaaaack of the hymnal. It’s entitled “An Affirmation of Faith.”
The Apostles’ Creed is well-known and well-loved. This one I have never read or heard, but I thought it was worth sharing with you. Enjoy!
We believe in Jesus Christ the Lord,
Who was promised to the people of Israel,
Who came in the flesh to dwell among us,
Who announced the coming of the rule of God,
Who gathered disciples and taught them,
Who died on the cross to free us from sin,
Who rose from the dead to give us life and hope,
Who reigns in heaven at the right hand of God,
Who comes to judge and bring justice to victory.
We believe in God His Father,
Who raised Him from the dead,
Who created and sustains the universe,
Who acts to deliver His people in times of need,
Who desires all men everywhere to be saved,
Who rules over the destinies of men and nations,
Who continues to love men even when they reject Him.
We believe in the Holy Spirit,
Who is the form of God present in the church,
Who moves men to faith and obedience,
Who is the guarantee of our deliverance,
Who leads us to find God’s will in the Word,
Who assists those whom He renews in prayer,
Who guides us in discernment,
Who impels us to act together.
We believe God has made us His people,
To invite others to follow Christ,
To encourage one another to deeper commitment,
To proclaim forgiveness of sins and hope,
To reconcile men to God through word and deed,
To bear witness to the power of love over hate,
To proclaim Jesus the Lord over all,
To meet the daily tasks of life with purpose,
To suffer joyfully for the cause of right,
To the ends of the earth,
To the end of the age,
To the praise of His glory,