Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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In the Beginning
Terry R. Baughman
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:1; 14).
From Creation to incarnation the story of redemption is revealed. The wonderful narrative of God reveals His eternal goodness and the manifestation of His grace. Both Genesis and John begin with the same phrase, “In the beginning” (Genesis 1:1, John 1:1). Both set the context of their story in the realm of God’s eternal purpose. Nothing else matters before that moment. All that is important to know is just that God is there and that He has a wonderful plan in process.
How does your story begin? How should any narrative start? The most obvious answer is, “In the beginning!” So begins the revelation of God’s purpose for Creation and His plan of redemption. Genesis starts with, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Before there was humanity, there was Divinity. Before there was a Creation, there was a Creator. Before there was a world spoken into existence, there was a thought in the mind of God of what it would become. Before God made humans in His image, there was the knowledge of humanity’s marred image and the awful effects of their rebellion. Before there was transgression, there was also a plan for atonement. Christ was, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8).
In John’s Gospel the story continues, yet he again appeals to the beginning. It was as though we needed to be reminded that there are no mistakes with God. This is not act two of a divine drama. This is not a do over, or version 2.0 with a newly revised program to work out the bugs of the previous plan. John said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). It was humanity that needed the do over. It was the people who groped in darkness and stumbled in confusion. “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it” (John 1:5). The prophet Isaiah saw this day when he wrote, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Those who dwelt in the land of the shadow of death, upon them a light has shined” (Isaiah 9:2).
Jesus is the light of the world. He is the One who shines from the beginning to the end. He is, “The Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last” (Revelation 1:8; 21:6; 22:13), and yet He chose to enter into His Creation as a child to reveal His plan and purpose among the people. That is when, “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
Christmas is a reminder of His coming, His humanity, His humility, and His great love. Isaiah declared, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6).
No wonder they worshipped Him from the moment of His birth. Jesus is worthy of glory, honor, and praise. That is the reason we sing, and clap, and shout with a voice of victory. Our redeemer has come to bring salvation. We have been restored to God through the birth of the promise, the death of the savior, and the resurrection of the eternal King. “O Come let us adore Him! The Savior, Christ, the Lord!”
“I am covered by your covenant of mercy and love. So I come to your sanctuary with deepest awe to bow in worship and adore you” (Psalm 5:7 The Passion Translation).