Growing up as a Baptist, creeds were not a part of our identity or our worship services.
“I believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth…” I encountered creeds for the first time at divinity school. In theology class, I learned about the history and controversies surrounding the creeds, and I still did not acknowledge their importance.
I would not say the word “catholic” in the creed because I did not know catholic meant universal. While my classmates and professor read/recited the creed, I said it right along with them, except I was silent while they said “catholic.”
Now I am a ‘member’ at a United Methodist Church, and each week, at the traditional service, we read/recite a different creed.
Five minutes before I walked down the aisle at my wedding, held in a Baptist church, I was anticipating the days events so much that my anxiety was escalating. Then I recited out loud one of the creeds, “I believe in God the Father, Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth….”
On one of the most important days of my life, this Baptist girl at heart, who works at a Methodist church, was reciting a creed and thanking God for the reassurance that was found in reciting a creed and thus in remembering what I believe .
On Monday, as I went to get my Sprite, I discovered that all of the soda machines in the restaurant were broken. I do not like coffee, and I prefer not to drink tea with caffeine. The water part of the soda machine was broken. So I had the first world problem of not drinking soda with lunch while people in the world do not have access to clean water.
Yesterday, I braved the black Friday crowds. At the first few stores, parking was accessible, crowds were at a minimum, and the deals were great. Then I went to Kohl’s where I parked at the end of the row. Once inside I tried on clothes, decided what to purchase, and got in line. What a line! It wove all the way to the back of the store and made a turn. For a hour and a half I waited in line to buy sweaters. So I had the first world problem of waiting in line for a really long time to buy clothes while some wait in line each night this winter hoping a shelter will have enough beds.
Tomorrow, while the body of Christ around the world worships with the looming threat of brutal persecution, my first world problem will be striving not to take my freedom to worship for granted again this Sunday.
First world problems are all about perspective!
“But put God’s kingdom first. Do what He wants you to do. Then all of those things will also be given to you.” Matthew 6:33