In The Beginning

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God. - John 1:1

Life is full of beginnings. We are now at the beginning of a year. But here is a beginning that carries our thoughts back beyond all years, all dates of history, all imaginable periods of time, beyond the beginnings of creation. Then Christ was. What a sublime stretch of being these words give to Him who is our Saviour! We cannot grasp the thought, but we can find security and comfort in it when we think of Christ, and when we rest in Him as our hope and salvation. We trust in human friends, and the comfort is very sweet; yet we can never forget that they are but creatures of a day, and that we cannot be sure of having them even for tomorrow. But we trust in Christ, and know that from eternity to eternity He is the same, and therefore our confidence is forever strong and sure.

Our trust is still more stable and firm when we read on and find who this Person is in whom we are confiding. “The Word was God.” There is nothing doubtful in this language. No kind of exegesis can blot from this brief clause the truth of Christ’s divinity. The Saviour, into whose hands you have committed your life, is the eternal God. Earthly trusts are never secure, for everything human is mortal; but those who commit themselves to the keeping of Christ are safe forever. It is very sweet to think of Christ’s humanity. It brings Him near to us. He is like one of ourselves. He is our own brother, with tender sympathies and warm affections. We study the gospel and learn the graciousness of His character as seen in His compassion, His tears, His love. Then when we know that behind these qualities are the divine attributes, that He is very God, what glorious confidence it gives us! Let us set this glorious truth at the gate of the New Year. It is a shining point from which to start.

“Come and here the grand old story,
Story of the ages past:
All earths’s annals far surpassing.
Story that shall ever last.

Christ, the Father’s Son eternal.
Once was born the son of man;
He who never knows the beginning
Here on earth a life began…

Hear we then the grand old story.
True as God’s all faithful word;
Best our tidings to the guilty
Of a dead and risen lord.

Hear we then the grand old story.
And in listening learn the love
Flowing through it to the guilty
From our pardoning God above.”