Day 17, Nicene Creed, 9th Line
true God from true God,
As we were learning about the Creed during RCIA four years ago, I asked why we first say Jesus is God from God, and later say He is true God from true God. It felt a little redundant to me, but I knew there had to be a really good reason. Of course, as we mentioned last week, these statements were first proclaimed in defiance of popular heresies at the time, establishing the Christian understanding of Christ once and for all.
But why God and then true God?
Yesterday, for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, our Mass readings included the Exodus 3 story of Moses and the burning bush. This is where God reveals His identity to Moses, and ultimately to the rest of us. Moses asks what God’s name is, because back in the ancient days, all the gods of the peoples had names. But God responds to Moses, “I am who I am.”
He just is.
You see, the other gods were human inventions, so humans could name them—meaning they could understand them, and try to manipulate them. But the I AM exists outside of creation, beyond our understanding, and certainly beyond our ability to manipulate. He is essentially telling Moses that He is not one of those gods. He is the True God.
Care to share?