Jesus is The Beginning and the End
In the swirly midnight celebrations of New Year’s Eve one simple idea pierced through the confetti and settled into my thoughts: the beginning and the end are so close together. They’re just a heartbeat, a breath, a blink away from each other. Last night we waved goodbye to the end of 2015 and turned to welcome the beginning of 2016. We took a breath on New Year’s Eve and it became New Year’s Day. We blinked and the whole world shifted from one year to the next.
In the Life Journal readings we finished reading the end of the story in Revelation and quietly turn back to the Beginning of the story in Genesis. There is something deeply continuous about today, this day, each day, that binds us to the rhythms of beginnings and endings, life and breath. If the beginning and the end are just a breath away from each other, than there is One Person who holds that breath. That thought is shaking up my world today. Seriously…
In the introduction to the Book of Genesis in The Message Eugene Peterson says this:
“First, God. God is the subject of life. God is foundational for living. If we don’t have a sense of the primacy of God, we will never get it right, get life right, get our lives right. Not God at the margins; not God as an option; not God on the weekends. God at center and circumference; God first and last; God, God, God.”
Jesus’ voice calls out through the ages, recorded in the last chapter of the last book, and someday to shake the heavens as we turn to the sky and see Him with our eyes and hear Him with our ears:
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Rev 22:13)
What. A. Day. That will be.
The day the first and last will all come crashing together.
“In the beginning the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Though Him all things were made made; without Him nothing as made that has been made. ” John 1:1-3
Before Christ the world was “formless” and “empty” and “darkness was [covered] over the surface of the deep.” (Gen 1:1) But also, before Him our lives were “formless” and “empty” and covered by “darkness over the surface of the deep.”
The reason this concept of Jesus being the Beginning and the End is so essential to our faith is that knowing who God is shapes our soul. Placing all our beginnings and our endings in the hands of Christ gives our lives context, meaning, and form.
A.W. Tower says it this way, “Nothing twists and deforms the soul more than a low or unworthy concept of God.”
“As God is exalted to the right place in our lives, a thousand problems are solved all at once.”
And that is why every Life Journal post on this site is titled with a God Statement. A God Statement is an essential truth about who God is, mined out of the depths of His Word, to shape our concept of God and give shape and form to the pages of our lives.
In this blog we will study, and pray and search through the Bible this year together, “Life Journaling” as we go. But every time we open the Scriptures we will be looking for ONE simple thing: Who is God? We’ll search that out in every text, every historical account, every letter, every word. Because His Word is the inspired revealing of Himself.
If that sounds like a journey to stir up your heart this year, sign your name in the SUBSCRIBE box in the right side bar. You’ll receive weekly devotions that (I promise) will be an adventure.
Today I am compelled to launch into 2016 with this challenge:
What if we lived like the first and the last collided together every day?
Because maybe they do.
I have often thought that living a life of faith feels to me like walking on the edge of a cliff. Every step is risky as we look around and see almost nothing but sky and air and open expanse abounding. Faith is leaving the safe ground. Life and death might both feel like one step (or misstep) away. But maybe edge-walking isn’t quite what we were called to? Maybe it is only the beginning; the launching place for more.
I’m starting to think that trying to survive this journey of risky faith by clinging onto solid ground could be the most dangerous thing to do. What if GRACE is bigger, wider, fuller than we’ve ever imagined? What if it inhabits all that open expanse out there beyond the edge of our known ground? What if we could leave the edge-walking behind and stop clinging to survival long enough to walk on water, fly in the air, soar like eagles? Thrive!? Somehow, that is what God is whispering to my heart for 2016.
“A scared world needs a fearless church.” -A.W. Tozer
“God is looking for people thru whom He can do the impossible. What a pity we plan only things we can do by ourselves.”
He who put the planets in motion, called forth trees and mountains to spring up from the land also breathed our lives into motion. And someday He will return to make all things new; to remake the world, the universe and the lives we have broken. But what if a little bit of someday was today?
May you live with eternity in your hearts. in Jesus’ name, Amen.