The Names: The Beginning

Writers from Wiser Lake Chapel will consider the Names of God during this Lenten Season, choosing one each day from the many provided to us in Scripture.  This study will assist our preparation for Holy Week, the sacrifice of Good Friday on our behalf and the renewed hope of Resurrection Sunday.

Today we start with “The Beginning”

 

Jesus “The Beginning”
by Pastor Bert Hitchcock

 

When the Apostle John wrote about Jesus, he spoke of him in connection with the
beginning of the creation.

In John 1:1, he wrote,
“In the beginning was the Word…”
And in I John 1:1 he wrote,
“That which was from the beginning . . .
This we proclaim concerning the Word of life.”

Clearly Christ Jesus, God the Son, the Eternal Word, accounts for the beginning of all
things – the whole creation, and mankind made in His image. But sin entered that perfect world. And as a result, God pronounced a curse on it; and death reigned. But throughout the ages, people still longed for renewal.

In Psalm 51, David cried out,
“Create in me a new heart, O God . . .”
In Lamentation 5, Jeremiah prayed that God would
Renew our days as of old”
And in Isaiah 40, God promised renewal for those who wait upon Him.

But real renewal – a new beginning – could only come one way: Christ Jesus came into
the world and suffered the curse of sin and the wrath of God all the way to death! But
when God raised him from the dead, he showed himself to be the New Beginning – the
True Beginning

That’s what we read in Colossians 1:18.
“He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead,
that in everything he might be preeminent.”

And so, those who are joined to Him, also have a new beginning.

That’s what the Bible says,
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone and new has come.”

Every broken person longs for a new beginning – a new start in life. But that is only
possible when we receive new life from the One called “The Beginning.” And that new
life, is only a taste of the new beginning of the whole creation which is coming when
Jesus returns.

Michael Card unpacked some of this truth in one of his songs, called The Beginning:

In the beginning was the Beginning, the minute it all began
All that they had was God and the garden, the woman and the man
Before creation learned to groan, the stars would dance and sing
Each moment was new, every feeling was fresh, for the creature, king and queen.

But deep in the heart of that beautiful garden, forbidden truth was found
They were deceived, disobeyed, and were driven from that holy ground
But beside the tree of disobedience, the tree of life did grow
The gift of its fruit, an eternal beginning, but they would never know

Chorus:
The beginning will make all things new,
New life belongs to Him
He hands us each new moment, saying,
My child begin again
My child begin again
You’re free to start again

This very moment is filled with His power, that we might start anew
To break us away from the past and the future, He does what He must do
And so the Alpha brings to us, this moment to commence
To live in the freedom of total forgiveness, with reckless confidence

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Lenten Observance 2015

Members of the Wiser Lake Chapel congregation will again be sharing their thoughts and reflections this Lenten season, using scripture taken from Handel’s Messiah.  Beginning tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, we will each take a piece of the Messiah scripture passages to think about how the story of the prophecy of a Savior for God’s people, His incarnation, His ministry, His suffering and death and His resurrection continues to change the world and transform our hearts.

Our writers are from age 11 to age 90, some far flung in many places around the globe including Japan and Burma, all members of this church body that meets weekly to worship on the edge of Wiser Lake in Whatcom County, Washington.

Thank you for being part of this blog’s readership, and we encourage you to share it with your family, friends and neighbors.

~the Wiser Lake Chapel family~

Rend Your Hearts

Rend your heart
    and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
    for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
    and he relents from sending calamity.
Joel 2:13

As Christians approach the Lenten season of contemplation, reflection, self-denial, temptation, sacrifice and gratitude, we are reminded that our transformation is internal, not external.  We may wear ashes on our forehead as a reminder of our dusty origins and how dead we are in our sin, but it is mere symbol, like wearing our laments like torn sackcloth.

Because of Christ, we are so much more than ashes.  God’s breath powered our hearts to beat, our lungs to swell, our mouths to worship.  It is the rending of our flesh that matters, just as Christ was rendered on the cross.

Because of Christ, our ashes are blown into flame that burns with His Spirit; our hearts are open and ready.

As Christians we will walk together through these dark Lenten days of preparation, casting light and warmth in the midst of our earthly struggles.

Ashes no more.

~E. Gibson

Welcome to Wiser Lake Chapel Lenten Observance 2014

Starting tomorrow, on the first day of the Lenten season, there will appear here daily devotionals written by members of the Chapel community based on scripture selections from God on the Cross, a book of reflections on Lent and Easter from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

The themes of the next few weeks will be:

Prayerful Reflection

Self-Denial

Temptation

The Purpose of Suffering

The Cross

Holy Week

 

Please share this blog link with family and friends as we move forward together over the next few weeks to contemplate the sacrifice of God on the cross.