In the Beginning

29 Oct

Good stories often begin with memorable lines.  A Tale of Two Cities begins, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…”  C.S. Lewis, in The Voyage if the Dawn Treader has: “There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.”  It doesn’t take very long for us to agree.

His-story also has a memorable opening: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Gen 1:1 NIV)  I think we in the church have said and heard those words so many times they have lost their wonder.  That’s why I like how The Voice translation renders them: “In the beginning God created everything.”   Paul repeats this in Colossians 1:16 were he ascribes creation to Christ, “by him all things were created…”   Now, it is a glorious thought that the entire universe was spoken into existence–galaxies, suns, planets, moons–and that all things on earth were by Him created–plants, birds, marine life, a myriad of herds and flocks, and finally man.  But God created everything. 

A popular song asks, “Who imagined the sun and gives source to its light?”  You see it isn’t just the stuff that He created, it’s all the other things we can take for granted.  He also gave us light, colors, textures.  Every time Laurie decides a room needs a new look, I am reminded just how many colors He has given us.  Then there are the sounds, and the simple beauty of things.   It isn’t enough for us to ask, “How did it all get here?”  We must also ponder “Why is it so ‘indescribable.”   There are those who claim it is all a big accident.  Pure chance.  Lots of time.  Yet, I’ve yet to see an explosion ‘create’.  In fact, where did the ‘stuff’ of the explosion come from?  Why should anything exist?

Another thought that usually comes to mind when I reflect upon the indescribable world around us is that Scripture not only begins with a beginning…it also ends with a beginning.  Given a glimpse into the future (whether near or distant we can’t be sure), John records, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away” and hears a mighty voice declare, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:5)  

The word new in this verse translates a word that can mean: of a new kind, unprecedented.  While some see the ‘new creation’ being an improved version of what exists now, an argument can be made that it will be of a totally of a new kind–an unprecedented creation.  There will be things there that aren’t here.

Back in the day, Star Trek looked awesome, but watching the old show now after various editions of Star Trek, as well as all the films that use the latest in CGI, it just looks old.  How great will the ‘unprecedented’ creation look?  How indescribable will it be?  Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit gives us a hint:

“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9

As good as the opening line of Scripture is, it just gets better.  And even more so, the closing chapter will never end.



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