Beginning, Again

When God created man, God gave him a secret–
and that secret was not how to begin but how to begin again.
–Elie Wiesel

Each Sunday we gather together to worship God, our Creator, Redeemer, and Sustainer. When I think of God our Creator, I think back to the first line of the Good Book. You know the one, “In the beginning, God created…” What follows is a beautifully moving account of God creating all the world, from the teensiest atom all the way up to the most ginormous galaxy. 

If I close my eyes and listen to these stories, I can begin to imagine myself around the campfire with the early people of God. We’d sit, eagerly waiting for the storyteller to arrive. We’ve all got storytellers in our families. We love to hear their stories. They make us double over with laughter, bring tears to our eyes, remind us of who we were, who we are, and who we can become. The storyteller arrives and a hush falls over the crowd. She asks, “What do y’all want to hear about tonight?” Without hesitation, someone exclaims, “The first one! The one where it all begins. You know the one!” The storyteller chuckles a bit because she’s already told this story umpteen times. Nonetheless, we all gather in close and the story begins, again, “In the beginning, God created…”

If we listened to these beautiful stories in Hebrew, their original language, we’d realize there’s another way they can begin, “When God began to create…” Did you spot the difference? In the first way of telling, we hear stories about something incredible God did. In the second way of telling, we hear stories about something incredible God started to do. And is still doing today. The campfire begins to feel a little different, more exciting. I begin to realize that this story isn’t only about God’s work in the past. This story is also about God’s work now

And would you believe it? We get to be part of this ongoing work of God. We serve a Creator and Creating God. We know this because God breathed into us the breath of life. God breathed God’s breath right smack dab into our nostrils. God gave us the opportunity to share in God’s creative work. Right here, right now. 

I’d call that good news, church family. So much is beginning anew these days. People, families, churches, businesses, nations, our entire world is transitioning into a new way of living. Folks are wondering, “What am I supposed to do now?” Well, we remember God who saw chaos and began to create. We know that God sees our chaos now and is doing the same. Let’s be people who create with God. Let’s get our hands down in the dirt, the messy places, and join with God in breathing new life into our world. Our world needs it. We need it. I know I need it. I’m so thrilled to serve as pastor of a church family who is already diving headfirst with God into the chaos. While the coming days will continue to be hard, I’m excited for all God has done, is doing, and will continue to do in and through us in this season of new beginnings.

Perhaps next Sunday we should offer thanks to our Creating, Redeeming, and Sustaining God. You know the One. And if not, come join us around the loving warmth of God’s light. There’s always room for more around the fire.