Apostles’ Creed 17: and the life everlasting, amen.

Literally the Latin and Greek originals use words meaning “of an age, of the ages etc” both of which have some reference to quality of life as well as mere length. The English picks up the length without the quality. That’s a problem since only the best and the worst of humanity desire simply more time in which to love or hate. Most of us are less passionate about more time and get tired of tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow, and are happy enough to arrive at the last syllable of recorded time.

Everlasting life is only a gift if it is creative and fulfilling life, which as it happens is what we are promised: the life of God, whether this is depicted as the life of the holy city, or with the words, ‘we shall be as he is.’ ‘Set free from captivity to decay’, ‘ they shall be my people and I will be their God.’

It does not say in the Bible that only Christian believers will have this state, but rather that it is limited to those whose names are written in the “lamb’s book of life“, which means those rescued by the compassionate and crucified one. The Bible also states that there are those who rejected the compassionate and crucified one in life and still do so. Their lives will not be everlasting.

To regard oneself and others as eternal beings is a profound and difficult revelation, since we are so deeply marked by time. How can we not anticipate or dread tomorrow? We are promised a transformation in which this (sweet) mortal being will be swallowed up by immortality, so will just have to meet the challenges of eternity. Perhaps, as a late friend of mine once said, it may not be too bad.

The Creed is not a summary of the life of faith but rather a list of what were considered to be FACTS of faith, namely things or events that believers considered to be so. As can be seen from these blogs, I also accept most of them to be so, although I may understand them in unorthodox ways. My main criticism of this summary is its neglect of the life and ministry of Jesus.

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