“I believe it will be a good year,” or “I believe the shop will be open today,” both are examples of what many might understand by “believe” and “belief.” A belief is reduced to an opinion, an inkling, a point of view. And if that is the full meaning of the word, when we say, “I believe in God,” it is understandable that others may reply, “well that’s your belief, your opinion, your point of view,” and—maybe left unsaid—”but not mine.”
This contemporary understanding of belief does not correspond with the Church’s understanding. When we say a husband and wife believe in their marriage we are not saying they know the wedding happened nor that they have a nice opinion about it: their belief in their marriage is much more connected with the concepts of faithfulness, fidelity, trust and reliance. “I believe in my wife, in my husband, in my friend,” is much more than an opinion. It is this to which the Church is pointing when we say,
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the only begotten, Begotten of the Father before all worlds. Light of Light, very God of very God, Begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father, by whom all things were made.
Who for us and for our salvation, He came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary and made man. And was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried.
And the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the quick and the dead. Whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, who proceedth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified. Who spake by the prophets;
And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins. I look for the Resurrection of the dead. And the life of the age to come. Amen.
—The Symbol of Faith
In other words,
- I place my trust in one God, the Father, And in one Lord Jesus Christ, And in the Holy Spirit, And in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,
- I am faithful to …
- I rely upon …
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, the Church does not give us mere opinions about God, about life, about creation, about reality: rather she points us to Christ who is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” And in pointing us to Christ, we are led to a deeper knowledge of God, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6) And having come to know this—not only having an opinion about God but encountering the mystery of God—we come to place our own belief, our own hope, our own trust, our own faithfulness, our own fidelity, our own reliance in him.
Let us join ourselves to him, through his Church, that we all may be united with eternal Life.
“Then Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ But Simon Peter answered him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal Life. Also we have come to believe and know that you are the Christ, the Son of the living God.'”
— John 6:67–69
Please speak to me, or contact me, to arrange a time for your home to be blessed.
We serve a meal following the Liturgy on Sundays. All are welcome.
Do you, or someone you know, want to join our mailing list and receive our weekly email? Then let me know.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
I am leprous and sinful, dear brothers and sisters in Christ, and I find myself outside the city wall which has twelve foundations (Revelation 21:12–14). And in my wretched state I see the Lord from afar off and call out to him, “Jesus, Master, have mercy upon me.”
But despite my loneliness I am not alone. For in that very moment I recognise my sin and call out to the Lord he is not afar off but near to me, as the Prophet David tells us,
“The Lord is righteous in all his ways
And holy in all his works.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
To all who call upon him in truth.
He shall do the will of those who fear him,
And he shall hear their supplications and save them.” (Psalm 144:17–19 ʟxx)
For when I call out to the Lord he is already near me and hears my prayer. And he instructs me to go and present myself to the priests—not that they will heal me but that they may recognise in me the healing from the Lord. And I go and tell the priest all that the Lord has done for me and he confirms the change that has happened in me.
Services this week
Saturday 21st January
Vespers, 6.30 pm
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh
Sunday 22nd January
Divine Liturgy, 9.30 am
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh
Please join us: all are welcome, come and see.
We meet at St Francis’ Hall, Nightingale Avenue, Eastleigh, SO50 9JA. Come and See.
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the community?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
With love in Christ