November 02, 2013

In the Beginning, Life; at the End, Life

John 1:4-5; 11:21-26

In him was life …
—John 1:4


John has already told us that before we and the earth and the galaxies were formed, “the Word was with God” (John 1:1). He was with God from before the beginning of time. There was never a time when he was not.

John also tells us that “in him was life.” Life was there, in him, in the beginning. That means there never was a time when life was not; it always was. Life has no beginning.

Does it have an end?

Death, however, had a beginning. There was a time when death did not exist for human beings, but then we turned our backs on God, rejected him, and went our own way. Because of Adam and Eve’s fall into sin (see Genesis 3), death is a grim reality for us all.

Death is a terrible, threatening cloud that hangs over us. Death tears into life; it rips up the deep, loving relationships we have with our spouses, our children, our friends. Death ends much that we cherish and desire in our life on this earth.

That is why our hearts race when we hear Jesus say, “I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10).

Jesus comes to put an end to death and to give us life—full, exuberant, joy-filled, never-ending life.

Isn’t that what we all most deeply need and want?

Life-giving Lord, come; breathe your life into me, into my home, into my relationships. Come, and, through me, bring life to others. Amen.

About the author — Harvey Stob

Rev. Harvey Stob and his wife, Audrey, served as missionaries in Argentina for eleven years. They then served churches in Cincinnati, Ohio; Ridgewood, New Jersey; and Ann Arbor, Michigan. Harvey retired from full-time pastoral work in 2009. He and Audrey have three children and seven grandchildren.

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