Sunday, December 10, 2017

Before and After

Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. And Christ became a human being and lived here on earth among us and was full of loving forgiveness and truth. And some of us have seen his glory—the glory of the only Son of the heavenly Father! (John 1:1-2, 14 TLB)
Before is a powerful word. Before today there was yesterday - now only a memory and unable to be altered in anyway. Before light there was darkness - now the shadows of dark are no longer and the brilliance of light makes all once hidden plain to see. Before means there was something and now there is something different. One thing was 'before' everything else, but has never changed or ceased to exist - Christ! The 'before' might not have had human form, but the 'after' does - yet he never stopped being divine!
In our everyday lives, there are lots and lots of "before" moments. The "after" moments we hope will all be 'good' and 'worthwhile', but there is no guarantee, right? The moment we take any step forward, we are establishing the "before point" on that journey. I once heard a story of a man who waited to take his journey until he could see nothing but green lights before him. While I know it might make the journey easier and a little less frustrating, green lights only suggest the way may be open to us - it doesn't mean it will be pain-free! If we waited for all the lights to be green in this lifetime, we'd never grow in our faith, nor would we get very far on our journey!
There is always some "condition" to 'before'. In terms of Christ taking on human form, it says "in the fullness of time". It never said that all things were perfect and that he'd be welcomed with open arms. It just said it was time for his coming. It was the moment we can mark out in history as a 'before point'. Christ left heaven, took on human form, lived among us, and showed us the way to restored relationship with the divine. Without that 'before point', there would be no 'after point' for any of us except the judgment for our sin! Just sayin!