This Is Where It All Begins

This Is Where It All Begins

As we survey life under the sun, we may wonder what basis there is for the human pursuit of meaning. How do we know there is purpose in life and to life? How do we know we matter? We know we matter because of Genesis 1:1. We know there is meaning because Genesis 1:1 grounds all meaning. The truth of this verse is the reason for humanity’s search for purpose in life. If Genesis 1:1 isn’t true, there is no ultimate purpose to life in this world. If Genesis 1:1 isn’t true, your sense of what matters and why is no more reliable than anyone else’s sense of what matters and why.

Everyone you meet is living according to some story. There is some kind of meaning they’re pursuing. They have an answer to the question of why there is something rather than nothing, even if that answer is inadequate. They have thought about whether there is anything beyond death.

While everyone is living according to some story, their formulation of it might be rather haphazard. They may have no good basis for the things they’re assuming are true. They could be living according to a story that lacks any sound objective grounding for its components and claims.

Maybe their views about relationships are gleaned from Hollywood movies or best-selling fiction. Maybe their understanding about human nature has been shaped more by pop psychology than by anything else. Maybe their sense of meaning and purpose depends more on their personal intuition than on anything they could really assert and defend with confidence.

The Christian’s story is the Bible’s epic narrative. The biblical authors are calling us to reckon with the reality of God and his work in his world. They teach us why there is something rather than nothing. They teach us where meaning is found in this life and what lies ahead in the life to come. They tell us what has gone wrong in the world and what God has done about it.

The biblical authors tell us the true story of the world. How does this story begin? Starting a great story isn’t easy, but first words matter. Formulating the right opening words is key to hooking the reader.

Think of some opening lines in famous books. Moby Dick, from Melville, begins with three words: “Call me Ishmael.”

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