This hilarious clip from the cult 1980s comedy series Not The Nine O’Clock News highlights how easy it is to become wishy-washy regarding what we truly value and believe. We can frequently find ourselves just rattling off the ancient creeds, but why were they originally written, what do they really mean and why are they important?
Encourage groups of three or four to write a creed for the 21st century. What important truths would speak well into a consumer driven, individualistic and self-obsessed society?
2. Fingerprint or handprint creed
Our fingerprints and handprints are unique to each one of us. This may feel ‘young’, but teenagers just love getting their hands on paint of any sort! If there are some gifted artists within your group, they may like to have a go at drawing their own fingerprint.
You will need: finger paint – if you can get hold of the shiny pearlised finger paint, it shimmers beautifully in the light; large sheets of black paper, because again, it looks better; an overhead projector, a slide projector or a coloured spotlight; the words to a creed; a bowl of water; a towel for people to wash their fingers or hands afterwards.
Read 1 John 3.1-2 about being children of God.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Project the words of the creed below (or a different creed) onto a black sheet of paper, using the overhead projector or slide projector. If you do not have a projector, write the words to your creed on the paper with a white marker or white paint, and use a coloured spotlight to illuminate the board. Invite the group to agree to what they believe, and instead of saying the creed, place either a thumbprint or a whole handprint on the piece of black paper. Afterwards, point out the uniqueness of each print.
We believe in God the Father,
Who made us to be his children
And loves us more than words can express.
We believe in Jesus, God’s Son,
Who died an agonising death to save us
And bring us, his wayward children, home.
We believe in God the Holy Spirit,
Who gives us life and laughter,
And all the joy of play.
For more ideas like this see Sue Wallace, Multi-Sensory Church, Scripture Union, 2002, p20.