In The Beginning…
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness God called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. (John 1:1)
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more…. “See, I am coming soon; my reward is with me, to repay according to everyone’s work. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 21:1, 22:12-13)
Our Christian faith is enfolded in beginnings – from the creation story to the birth of Jesus, to the new creation in Revelation. Of course, all the stories throughout our scriptures are of God’s presence in every ending and new beginning. We are a people of new beginnings, along with all the chaotic, adventurous, questioning, faith-less-ness and faith-full-ness, messy, wondrous stories and experiences recorded in scripture and in our Christian history. Throughout every story, every experience, people of faith (and of not-so-much faith) discovered the eternal presence of God. No matter what, God’s forgiving and redeeming grace prevails. In every moment, God’s blessing and assurance are transforming people’s lives and creating new beginnings.
Is it any different today? We experience tremendous chaos and change these days – every moment, every day – from natural disasters to violence (in our own hearts and homes as well as around the world), to economic and ecological crises, to cultural and political divides, to the covid pandemic. And yet, our stories of faith teach us that God is present, always working miracles of grace and blessing and new beginnings. As challenging and difficult and wearing and burning out these times are which we are living through, as many endings as there are, as much as we are tempted to despair, God is present. Day turns to night and to a new day again.
If your story would get added to scripture, what story will it tell of God’s presence? Even today, how will you, in faith and hope, complete this sentence: “In the beginning…”? Write and imagine and live into your story of how you discover God in the moments and adventures of this moment, this new beginning, this new day, this new year.
Ever-new, ever-creating God, Thank you for your life-transforming grace and hope. Guide us to awareness of the ways you are present in each and every moment. Teach us to live as transforming, grace-filled people of faith and justice. Inspire and fill us with your Spirit of new life today and all days. We pray in the name of the new-born and always renewing Christ. Amen.