John 1:1-3 (New International Version)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
The gospels of Matthew and Luke start with the birth of Jesus, and Mark opens with the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. But John? John’s first verses talk about the beginning of the beginning! It is such a beautiful, poetic way to begin this powerful story: En arche en o logos… “In the beginning was the Word.” The Greek word arche means absolute beginning. Not just the beginning of the story, but the beginning of everything!
What does it mean to believe in a God who was in existence before existence even started? To trust in a God who initiated it all?
I remember many nights as a child lying down in my backyard, looking up at the stars far above me. I could almost feel the universe spinning before my eyes, and the gravity of the earth holding me fast. One particular night, I remember trying to understand what it meant for the universe to be infinite. I pictured myself racing past the planets and stars, out and out and out farther. Never stopping, never slowing down. What would forever be like? How could I picture infinity?
I couldn’t picture it. No matter how hard I tried.
Psalm 106:1 tells us: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.” It is hard– maybe even entirely impossible for us– to fully understand what God’s “faithful love” is like. Imagine the deepest, most profound love you’ve ever experienced. Then multiply that by infinity. That’s how much God loves you. (Kind of hard to get your head around, isn’t it?) The amazing truth is that God knows everything about us, and loves us anyway. God knows our mistakes, our annoying habits, our hang-ups, our complete and utter screw-ups… and yet God still loves us with a love that has no beginning and has no end. Forever.
In church services, we’ll sometimes say together an “affirmation of faith” based on Romans 8: “I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow– not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below– indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Whenever life feels overwhelming or when you feel alone or powerless or unloved or in doubt: hold tight to the knowledge that the Creator of this infinitely huge universe has an unstoppable and never-ending love for you. A love that will never change or falter. Forever!
What does it mean that God’s love for you has no beginning and no end? How can living in that knowledge change your life today?