Reflections – 2024.03

The Apostles Creed (The Father Almighty)

[When we say] I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth, [we are declaring]:

I trust Him [the Father] so much that I do not doubt He will provide
whatever I need for body and soul,
 and He will turn to my good
whatever adversity He sends me in this sad world. 

He is able to do this because He is almighty God.
He desires to do this because He is a faithful Father.

–        Excerpt from Heidelberg Catechism (Q/A 26)

The Apostles Creed begins with a statement that we believe in God.  Now that doesn’t make us particularly unique in the world.  Most people would still say they believe in “God,” though any knowledge about what He is like comes mostly from what they want Him to be like.  In the face of atheism and ignorance about God, the Christian knows that we can know what God is like because He has spoken, revealing Himself both in the things that He has made and in His Word.

As God introduces Himself to us in the pages of Scripture, it is clear that He is far from uninvolved, watching us from a distance, a God who is merely “out there.”  He is near.  He is described as a Father to His people (or as our Father).  Some of us may have had bad earthly fathers, others had quite good ones.  As the Heidelberg quote above suggests, one of the great attributes of God our Father is that He is faithful.  He will never leave us.  He will be there for us.  He will provide and protect and guide and love.  He is our Father.

God is also described as Almighty.  I have on occasion seen bits and pieces of World’s Strongest Man competitions, where muscle-bound men pull vehicles and throw big, unwieldy things to show off their strength.  But we would never venture to call the winner of such a competition, “The Almighty.”  In the back of our minds is the understanding that a stray disease or a stray bullet would quickly weaken, if not utterly destroy, the strength of these men.  But no one can harm God.  He is in fact Almighty.  There is no one like Him.  All are weak in comparison.

When we put these thoughts together, we have a God who is both a faithful Father and who is Almighty.  Every child sees his or her dad like this at the beginning – a bit invincible, a strong presence (assuming he is present).  It is not too long, however, before cracks begin to show and it would be a rare teenager who would still believe that dad was invincible.  But our heavenly Father is in fact Almighty, invincible.  And as Paul says, “If God is for us, who can stand against us!”   May we live lives of thankfulness that our God is both Father and Almighty.  What blessed children we are.