Symbolon is a Greek term used for “creed.” The Nicene Creed that we pray every Sunday during Mass is, in different ways, a friendship charm that God has given to us so as to keep us united with him even as we are sojourners in a foreign land, who have not yet started enjoying perfect union with him.
The Creed, which is our part of the symbolon , is, so to speak, not complete in itself. Its existence gives signal to something beyond it; it points us to the final end which God intends for us.
As such, it recalls to what St. Paul tells us in (1 Cor: 13:12), “At present, we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am known”.
The Nicene creed is an assent of faith, a collection of truths that God has revealed to us in order to affirm and preserve our relationship with him, both through our individual faith and through our communal identity as the Church, the Body of Christ.
As a valued set of beliefs shared by those who profess it, the Creed unites us with other believers. Our individual profession of faith doesn’t seem complete on its own, but it takes on a fuller dimension when we bring it together with that of others and, through the unity of the Creed, we recognize each other as part of the same community.
Our faith as a community in the same way remains a symbolon, a broken half that points us to our need for God and will be completed whenever we attain eternal union with him.
The identity of Creed as a symbol doesn’t only recall our need for God to us. It also brings to us the security that, if we are faithful to our own identity, true to our symbolon, we will then be recognized, accepted and protected. And we will receive divine hospitality.
However, our Creed is far more than a set of beliefs that we say every Sunday. Our true profession of faith through the Creed serves as an affirmation of who we are in relation to God.
It actually affirms that we are his children, that we have received and accepted the truths which he has revealed to us, that we are part of the people of God, and that we are moving toward him, with the hope of being welcomed into the fullness of eternal life with him on one fateful day.