For some reason this morning my thoughts turned to the opening words of Genesis (and John’s gospel too): “In the beginning…” They are quite momentous words, it’s a phrase of epic proportions. Regardless of what you think about what comes afterwards, “In the beginning…” sets us up with considerable expectations. I imagine the words have to be spoken either with the deep husky voice of the man who does the voice overs on American film trailers or perhaps proclaimed by a voice like Brian Blessed’s.
I’m not going to head off into a discussion about different understandings of origins because that is what comes in the … part. I want to pause and think about “In the beginning”. It is a statement that establishes a timeline. It is a statement that assumes an eternity beyond time, outside the beginning. It is a statement of cosmological significance. It is a statement about origins.
It is of such epic proportions as a statement that it may be difficult for us to consider how it relates to us, or how we relate to it. Well, it establishes that we are part of the timeline that has been established. It offers us the possibility of something that is beyond time. It points us in the direction of a big bang, a moment of origins. No matter how many years you believe have passed since “In the beginning” happened, we all exist because there was a beginning.
Have you ever felt small, insignificant, unimportant, irrelevant? Then consider this – you are part of all that has happened since “In the beginning”. You are part of the momentous life of the Universe.
And if you ever get too full of yourself, consider this: you are part of all that has happened since “In the beginning.” You are part of the momentous life of the Universe.
I believe the next word in Genesis after “In the beginning” makes sense of it all. “In the beginning God…” We can ask and answer questions about suffering and injustice, about life and death, about theories and probabilities. But you have to admit, even if you don’t believe in God, it all looks a bit like someone designed all this. And if there is a ‘someone’, you exist because he willed it. And he wants to get to know you.
That sends a shiver down my spine – especially as I have spent the morning with a team of people from our church talking with some Year 6 students about Easter: the second ‘beginning’.
Be blessed, be a blessing.
Who was the first person in the Bible?