In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. –
John 1:1-2, ESV
There is fresh calendar in my bag and one hanging on the office wall. The family whiteboard has been wiped clean, “January 2015!” written in bright orange at the top. It’s a new year, a new beginning, a chance to take a deep breath and start anew.
Only, the person resolving to do better this time around—to read more and rest more, to be an attentive friend and wife and parent, to take care of my heart and my body and actually be on time to something every once in a while—that girl is still me. And I’m still flawed, still tired, still making mistakes like a champ.
A fresh start is inspiring and oh so needed, but sometimes we don’t feel bright and shiny, no matter what the calendar says.
As a person who flinches at uncertainty and change, I love that John the Apostle begins his gospel account with such conviction—
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
– John 1:1-5, ESV (emphasis mine)
Does John sound iffy about any of this to you? No! He has seen this One who is a light in the darkness with his own eyes, followed him with his own feet, and he doesn’t waste any time telling us exactly who he knows Jesus to be.
He is the beginning—of everything (v.1).
He is the Word—the One by whom and through whom everything is made (v.3).
He became flesh and lived among the likes of a fresh-start-needing people like us (v.14).
He brought with Him grace and He heaps it on us (v.16).
Jesus is the beginning of our real, everlasting life—our life as children of God (v.12).
Friends, if we believe what John writes to us in this first chapter—if we believe God’s Word is true—then the fresh start we’re aching for is not determined by the date. Jesus is the beginning of things good, and we are found in Him.
If He is “the life that is the light of men” (and He is!), then we don’t have to wait for the calendar to turn to begin anew—the fresh grace and mercy we’re looking for is ours every time the sun rises.
We see Jesus call His first disciples in this chapter, and they catch just a glimpse of His glory. They’re amazed, and rightly so—this is the Son of God they’re meeting! Little did they know, they would see so much more. I can almost hear Jesus give a little chuckle as He says, “You think this is something? This is only the beginning” (v. 50, paraphrased).
This is a new beginning. And yet, this is only the beginning!
As you and I turn the page on a fresh, new year, let’s look back and marvel at all that’s come before. Whether 2014 brought joy or sorrow or everything in between, God was there. He’s been there from the very beginning, bringing life from death and light from darkness. Let’s see the glimpses of His glory and be amazed, and let’s look forward to all He has in store. Today and every day, He is our new beginning.