Thoughts for the Day

Tuesday, 2nd May 2023: Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, Teacher, 373 CE

Creeds Athanasius Teaching Matthew 10 Saint

Reading : Verses from Matthew, Chapter 10

Saint Anathasius

‘A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master; it is enough for the disciple to be like the teacher, and the slave like the master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household!

‘So have no fear of them; for nothing is covered up that will not be uncovered, and nothing secret that will not become known. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the light; and what you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Today we remember Athanasius, a teacher of the faith, and Bishop of Alexandria. Born around 296 CE of Christian parents he was present at the First Ecumenical Council of Nicaea as a deacon to his Bishop in 325 CE. The Council was to agree the part of the Nicene Creed (used in our Communion Service) about the divine status of Jesus Christ. Athanasius became Bishop in 328 CE, and was a vociferous opponent of Arianism, which denied Jesus as divine, but saw him as a Son created by God, but not equal to God. Because of Athanasius' uncompromising views he was deposed, exiled, and reinstated as Bishop several times. Whether in or out of favour, he continued to write, often teaching through the use of catchy songs. He was also a great supporter of the newly burgeoning monastic life. He died on this day in 373 CE.

Our belief in the Trinity - God as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and especially of the divinity of Christ are cornerstones of our Christian faith. We can find ourselves struggling to understand the Trinity, which is why the Nicene Creed today starts with the words "We believe", for when we struggle with a part of this creed, then someone else will hold that belief for us. Athanasius showed that God the Father cared enough to send His only Son to take away the sins of the world, and this was only possible if Jesus Christ was, and is, God.


Heavenly Father,.
You know how flimsy our faith can be,
and how we often live with doubt,
so we thank You for men and women like Athanasius
who, no matter the obstacles, overcame them,
and helped to define
what the Church believes.
May our faith grow stronger
and our understanding deeper
as we continue our journey of life.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to refresh your memory concerning the Nicene Creed, if so click below. Note that the Athanasius Creed, which exists, was not likely to have been written by Athanasius:

Or look at the Apostle's Creed and Nicene Creed in an article on what the Church of England* believes:

* Note that all major Christian denominations accept these Creeds as part of their core beliefs.

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