Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Word at the Beginning and the End

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
(John 1:1-5 & Revelation 19:11-16, NLT)


I spent quite a bit of time in choir and chorus both during my formative and adult years. Often, when rehearsing a particular piece, the director would tell us to focus on a strong beginning and an equally strong ending. If we were able to accomplish that, then the audience wouldn't pay quite as much attention to what was in the middle and our number would come across as more polished than it actually was. Start strong; finish strong. Not a bad motto to claim, if you are one given to do such a thing. And, if you are, you want to make sure the substance of what you start and end with are worth the effort. If that's what your impression is based on, then you had better choose wisely or none of it will make sense anyway.

I've written a few times about God having the final word. But, if we take God's Word in a different sense, we can easily see that He also starts and finishes strong (not to mention everything in between). This impressed on my heart a while back as I listened to Revelation and got to the nineteenth chapter. The beloved Apostle John, who had already written about the Word of God being there at the beginning, now comes along and writes of the Word of God finishing what was started long, long ago. Like perfect bookends, John reveals Jesus as the One who will complete it all and do so in dramatic fashion.

If I try to imagine what it was like in the pre-existence, when the Godhead had perfect communion within the Trinity, I can almost hear the Word spoken out into the void and what we know as Earth being formed. Jesus, according to my take on John chapter one, is the Divine Agent of all that was created ... he started the ball rolling. And while we've come to compartmentalize our thinking on this into creation, fall, promise, etc., I still want to come back and see that the first Word of God spoken was still "Jesus". It is the Word that embodies the plan to reveal God's glory and holiness through redemption. The Word became flesh, lived with us, and then returned to Heaven. And then at the very end of it all, the Word comes riding out on a brilliant white steed and completes all that was started. His name being Faithful and True and the name only He understood all play into this scene. Could we ask for a better final act in the story? I don't think we can.

The further I travel on this Crooked Path and the more I understand of God and His very nature, the less I'll admit to knowing. I'm not really patient by nature and I don't usually take well to a situation where I don't know the end from the beginning. But as my vision of God grows and my faith in what He has provided increases, I do find I can more easily accept His first and last Word as embodied in Christ. No, the middle part might not be clear, but it is as good as the beginning and certainly worth living through to get to the end. Besides, Jesus saw it start and already sees how it wraps up. I think that might just be enough for me.


  1. Does your life begin and end with The Word of God? Can you see that nothing else is even worth your consideration?
  2. Are you having difficulty dealing with the reality that is "the middle part" of the journey? Do you find your focus is there instead of on the One started it and will complete it?
  3. Are you willing to take a deep breath, step back, and see the whole story God has provided? Have you come to the place where He is enough just because He says He will be?

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