Beginning – Day 6

“Jesus had known from the beginning who would betray him.” John 6:64

I’m so glad I’m not omniscient. Knowing everything about everybody all the time would crush me. Not knowing things is actually a relief — it takes one off the hook for certain responsibilities.

For instance, if I don’t know how to start the snowblower, then I’m not expected to clear the driveway. That’s a good thing to not know.

In the early days of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he called twelve men to be his disciples.  The night before he finalized the list of twelve names, he didn’t sleep a wink.  He spent the whole night praying. (Luke 6:12)

By this time, Jesus had already called Peter, Andrew, James, John and Matthew, so there were only seven spots left to fill. Certainly there were some good prospects, some fine men from which to choose. What kept Him up all night?

I wonder if there might have been a struggle over one application for the position of disciple. You know the one I’m talking about –Judas Iscariot.

Jesus talked the decision over with His Father out on that Galilean hillside in the moonlight. “Uh…Judas? Father? Are you sure about that one? Do I have to invite him to join the group?”

Yet, when morning came, Judas was on the list.  In fact, Mark 3:13 says, “He called to him those he wanted.” Because, in the end, Jesus wanted the will of His Father more than anything. Jesus knew Judas was the betrayer even before Judas did. But that didn’t stop Jesus from walking on water to him, or sending him out to do ministry with the other disciples, or washing his feet.

I get the same grace Judas did.

That’s all I need to know.

god_is_omniscient

 

Beginning – Day 5

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End.”  Rev. 21:6

There is no end to our beginnings.

We start over again year after year, week after week, day after day.

The steadfast sun rises.

The calendar pages turn.

The toast is lifted — cheers!

And we’re off once more, beginning again.

This is what it is to live.

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There is an end to our beginnings.

We hurry through our days, and weeks, and years.

The final curtain closes.

The last chapter concludes.

The finish line is crossed — glory!

And our one end becomes a grand genesis.

This is what it is to die.

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There is no end to The Beginning.

Always and forever Alpha-Omega – who was, and is, and is to come.

The Self-Existent One.

Limitless in scope.

Unbound by space and time — yes!

Forever before the beginning, and after the end, forever.

This is what it is to be God.

Beginning – Day 4

“Even now this is beginning to happen.” 1 Kings 14:14

Most beginnings are unseen —

the seed germinating in the ground,

the repair of a muscle under the skin,

the cells of a new life forming in the womb.

We are often unaware of beginnings,

but they are happening all around us,

all the time.

New Year’s Day seems like a momentous event as we let go of a past and welcome a future.  But, truly, New Year’s Day is just a day.  We don’t receive the whole new year at once.  All we get is 1/366th of it. Each day is a new beginning — each one a momentous event.

A prophecy was given in 1 Kings 14:14, foretelling of a time when God would uproot Israel and send her off into exile. The fulfillment of that prophecy wouldn’t come for another 300 years, yet, according to God, it was starting to happen, even then.

So when it seems like nothing is going on

and you’re stalled out in the middle of nowhere,

believe that there is a current moving below the surface

and, even now,

something is beginning

to happen.

 seed

Beginning – Day 3

This is about the time New Year’s resolutions start to flounder. Unexpected things come up, like a nasty cold that puts you on the sidelines for a few days. Or an early appointment messes up your work-out schedule. Or somebody brings a box of doughnuts to the office. No matter how earnest our decisions to implement good changes, it doesn’t take much to throw us off our game.

Not so with God.

When He says His eyes are going to be on us “from the beginning of the year to its end” (Deuteronomy 11:12), that means every single day, the whole year through.  No days off, no forgetfulness, no floundering.

He is watching us all day today, and will continue tomorrow and the day after that.  We will still be in His sights on March 9, and June 27 and September 19.  By the time December 31st rolls around, He will still be watching.  Not once does the Lord our God remove His watchful eyes from His people.

This is not a raised eyebrows “don’t-misbehave-because-I’m-watching-you” kind of look.

It’s more like a loving “I-can’t-take-my-eyes-off-of-you” gaze.

It seems God is resolved to keep His eye on us this year.

Maybe our best resolution would be to keep our eyes on Him all year, too.

eyes on jesus

Beginning – Day 2

“In the beginning was the Word…” John 1:1

John was the last of the four gospel writers to record the life and times of Jesus.  He must have given great thought as to how he would begin his account. This one would be different from the other three.

Matthew began with a genealogy going all the way back to Abraham. Mark jumped right in with grown-up-Jesus coming to be baptized. Luke started with a proper introduction and the back-story before writing a detailed account of Jesus’ birth.  Luke’s family tree traced Jesus’ lineage even farther – clear back to Adam.

But John wanted to start at the very beginning (a very good place to start).

Perhaps he turned to Genesis 1:1 for inspiration.  “In the beginning, God…”

John presented Jesus not as a baby, not as a man — but as The Word.

A Word with creative energy.

A self-existent Word.

A Word with skin on.

This disciple whom Jesus loved recognized his Beloved Savior in that inaugural beginning.

Before Abraham, before Adam, before time and light and molecules.

In that beginning was the Word,

who would later come and live for awhile among us.

word

Beginning – Day 1

When I was in elementary school, every fall my history book started with Christopher Columbus discovering America. I thought the world began in 1492. Being a good Methodist Sunday school girl, I knew Jesus walked the earth sometime before that. Like maybe 1482. So….not in America. Needless to say, my concept of time was a bit skewed when I was in 3rd grade.

Years later, when teaching history to my own children, I was shocked to find that the timeline we put up on our wall measured several feet from 1492 to present.  But the years prior to 1492 wrapped around our whole house. Time has been around a long time.

beginningThe Bible’s opening words are, “In the beginning…”

But long before God said, “Let there be light,” there was an eternity stretching out across the formless surface of the deep. God was there before the beginning began.

January is a good time to think about beginnings. A new year, a new journal, a new budget book, a new list of goals.  New possibilities, new opportunities, new challenges.

Shall we begin?