We Believe in One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church

As I write this segment on this rather cold Wednesday evening, game two, of the NRL (National Rugby League) State of Origin will be played live on television before a national and international audience of millions. Maybe not at the same audience level of American football’s Superbowl Final or soccer’s World Cup but nevertheless there will be many of the faithful, young and old, glued to their television or wireless listening and watching in on the action hoping their team wins. For those who are not familiar with the game (or don’t give a hoot at all!) the NRL’s premier event, the State of Origin, is an annual event on our nation’s sporting calendar that sees New South Wales (‘Blues’) and Queensland (‘Maroons’) vie to be the winning state. It is played over the best of three games, with NSW having won game one. The teams are made up of players considered the cream of the crop in their sport.

There is the saying ‘wear your heart on your sleeve’. One of the things I admire about Aussies and sport, in this instance, their footy, is the passion, loyalty and faithfulness they have for their team. Which is a good segue to talk about faithfulness and by this, I mean faithfulness in relation to the church. So, permit me to briefly say something about the Apostles Creed.

A line in the Apostles Creed we say during Sunday morning services goes: “We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church”. Those three words, ‘holy’, ‘catholic’ and ‘apostolic’ are important, as they speak to who we are as the body of Christ, that is, the church. Space doesn’t allow for a full exposition on each word, suffice to say, being ‘holy’ is about ‘being different’, being ‘catholic’ is about being part of the universal church that is diverse in its worship and theology, and being ‘apostolic’ is about being the church ‘sent’ to engage the world in the mission of God. Jesus proclaimed the kingdom of God as inclusive, giving hospitality, compassion, empathy, serving others – just to name a few. Living kingdom values presents to the world a different way of ‘being’. It challenges the status quo of individualism and materialism which both diminish the sacredness and wellbeing of people. This church, that is, the universal one, has encountered challenges along the way, nevertheless the faithful, including you, my friend, have always been there through thick and thin, faithfully engaging in the mission of God to the world. The church of Jesus Christ makes a world of difference!

So, I want to say thank you to each and every one of you for your faithfulness to Hoppers Crossing church over the years and the commitment you have in expressing the kingdom of God in both small and big ways, in your lives and through this church you dearly love. No doubt, the journey over the years hasn’t been easy but where we are now in being an intergenerational and intercultural church, seeking to be faithful and holy, catholic and apostolic is because of your passion and faithfulness in remaining true to Gods mission in Jesus Christ. That is not to say there isn’t more to do, on the contrary, there is a whole lot more to do! However, knowing there are people such as yourselves, who are faithful, loyal and passionate for God and for God’s heart for the world and for his church makes it worthwhile and exciting to investing one’s life in.

We believe.

Postscript: The ‘Maroons’ (Queensland) won-18 to 16! Oh dear!