The first clause of the Apostles’ Creed establishes the purpose and foundation of the entire statement. It is a summary of Christian truths to be confessed by all believers, a faith founded upon the goodness and power of the triune God. This opening statement carries a heavy theological weight as it implies much about the nature of God and his relationship with humanity. The following Good Friday collect is drawn from Thomas Cranmer’s (1489-1556) 1549 edition of the Book of Common Prayer, and it models a posture of humble submission and reverential hope before the Almighty Father. It confesses his sovereignty over all things and rests its desire for fulfillment on the supremacy of God in his world and his love for all created peoples.
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the church is governed and sanctified: receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before you for every human estate in your holy congregation, that every member of the same, in their vocation and ministry, may serve you truly and godly through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Merciful God, who has made all human beings and who hates nothing that you have made, nor do you desire the death of a sinner but long that he should be converted and live, have mercy on all Jews, Muslims, pagans and heretics, and remove from them all ignorance, hardness of heart and contempt of your Word. And thus fetch them home, blessed Lord, to your flock that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Psalms 1-72, ed. Herman J. Selderhuis, Reformation Commentary on Scripture, OT vol. 7, p. 416.
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