Last month, while I was leading worship, I experienced a profound moment. It was during my second service of the day. We had reached the part of the service, where the assembly recites the Apostles Creed and I had no voice. It wasn’t because God had struck me voiceless. You see, I was suffering with the aftereffects of a cold I had caught.
Pastor Mary Wiggins
This cold had left me voiceless throughout the week. And despite my worrying, I did managed to have my voice partially return by Sunday. And with the help of volunteers, we were able to worship and I was able to preach. Which, brings us back to this God moment that I had experienced.
I was standing in front, facing the altar like I always do on Sunday. But when it was time to say the Creed, my voice had given out. I couldn’t say the words. So the assembly said them for me. They proclaimed the faith, when I could not. Those that were gathered there that day recited our shared faith for myself and all those who didn’t have the words.
In the third article of the Apostle’s Creed, it talks about the Communion of Saints. Communion and Community come from the same word. And basically, the communion of saints is the entire community of the faithful. This community is untied together by Jesus Christ, and it made up of not just those around us by all who are members of the Body of Christ. This community is nourished by God’s word and sacraments and supports and cares for one another.
The moment I had was beautiful illustration of the communion of saints. Through the reciting of the little creed, they spoke of the faith that we all have and the unity we share in Jesus. And in that moment, the community of the faith was able to carry my faith for me. Just like how the community continues to speak God’s promises in all moments when because of illness or doubt we don’t have the words. Or in those moments, when we speak the words, but find no meaning in them. Someone else is there to speak the faith to us and support us in our times of trial.
That is what the community of saints does for us. It supports us and surrounds us when we need it. People whose faith is more certain and stronger than ours, are able to lift us up when we need it and speak God’s promises to us again. And they can guard the faith for us, until we are ready again to receive it and say the words for ourselves. For faith may be personal, but our life of faith in one we don’t have to journey on alone.