Advent, Advent Devotional, Christmas, Promised Hope

Before The Beginning

NARRATIVE

GENESIS 1; JOHN 1

There has never been nothing.

Don’t let the terrible structure of that sentence distract you from its truth. Before there was something — or anything — there was Someone. As far back as you can possibly imagine, Someone was there. In eternity past.

I know. It sounds crazy. A bit hard to comprehend it all. But our inability to fully grasp the concept can never diminish its truth or value. So, yes. That Someone has always been.

I suggest that this Someone is God because I believe it to be true. God in three Persons, in perfect relationship, bound by love.

At some point in eternity past, God, as in the Three of them together, created ninety-three billion light-years of something. Dark matter and dark energy, pushing and pulling. Billions of galaxies with their stars burning bright and burning out. Time found its place. In the beginning

I’ve tried to picture it in my mind. Did the three of Them laugh? Or cry? Were They filled with joy and delight? Give high fives all around? I wonder if God has it in His attic on a movie reel because a movie reel would help.

But it’s more impressive.

With roughly two hundred billion galaxies at His fingertips, God set His attention upon one. A little spiraled galaxy. He fixed His eyes and set His heart near a lone star we call the sun. A muster of matter hovered, and a dark mist draped.

But then God spoke His order. The earth took form. Light broke the darkness. Ahhh. Again. A movie reel.

He gathered the waters and filled them with life. He fancied ferns and daylilies, and they came to be. He dreamt of peacocks and eagles, and He fashioned their feathers just so.

But then, God bent low. With His very hands, He broke the ground He’d created with nothing more than His voice and His will. And there, He planted a garden.

Yes. God created energy and matter to fill billions of light-years. And to Him, what mattered most was the work He had planned for the perfect little garden on a pale blue dot. 

REFLECTION

Can you imagine? Yes, before time found its place, Jesus was. And He was with God, for He was God. Oh, I have wondered just how long? How long did it take before the Three decided that a visible universe was a good idea? Who imagined the giraffe? And that flat-bill platypus?

Whose idea was it to give us our sense of taste? And the beauty that is music?

Well, it’s easy to get caught up in the questions and distracted by them, disenchanted altogether.

I know it’s easy for some of us to believe. Harder for others. I, myself, am a question-er. I can and have asked many questions, trying to make sense of it all. Tying it up in a nice little box would feel safe and satisfying.

But I have long said that if God were a god I could completely understand, He’d certainly not be worthy of my worship. In my searching for truth, the Person of Truth eventually settled into all the crevices where doubt loved to live. While I cannot fully understand His ways, I trust His heart.

I pray the same for you.

If this seems like an unusual place to begin our advent of Christmas, please stick around. After all, Julie Andrews once said, “the very beginning is a very good place to start.”

WORSHIP

Take a moment tonight to look up at the stars.

Orion rises in the east, easy to spot with his bright, bold belt of three stars. Two of the stars are about 1,200 light years away from Earth (6,000,000,000,000,000 x 1.200). The other star is about 2,000 light years. (That’s 6 trillion x 2000.)

“So what?” you ask. The thing is, God created billions of light years filled with matter and energy, and the mathematics alone is mind-boggling! The size of the universe is overwhelming.

My point here is this: to the God who created all that dark energy and matter, my friend, you and I matter most.

Can you sit with that this morning? Tonight? Can you dare to believe it for just one day?

PRAYER

Father, You are both infinite and intimate. There and here, near and far. But never too far.

You have shown us Yourself through these holy pages.

But Lord, You have kept some things hidden, and those secrets belong to You. But You have revealed enough of Yourself to me. For all that I cannot understand or know, I am grateful that Your spirit settles into those places of doubt. Your love helps me hold the mysteries like treasure.

Father, as we create space in our hearts and homes to celebrate Christmas, I ask You to move. Move towards each of us. Move in each of us. I pray that the eyes of our hearts would be enlightened and that we would know the hope to which You call us. A-men.

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