As a child of the 1990’s, the end of a school year always brings about the memory of one-hit-wonder Semi-sonic’s Closing Time which contains the lyric “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.” The writer of Ecclesiastes (or for your oldies lovers.. the Byrds’ Turn Turn Turn) put it this way: “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens.” (Chapter 3:1).
The End. We worship a God who is The End.
We’re very familiar with the first verse of the first chapter of the Bible, “In the beginning, God.” We’re less familiar with the last chapter of the Bible, where Jesus says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13).
“We’re used to hearing, “In the beginning God.” But it’s just as biblically accurate to say, “In the end, God.”
At this time of year as everything in our academic calendar draws to a close, I’m particularly interested in serving a God who is the End. When you work in a school you’re bombarded with ends. It’s one of the very cool yet very challenging pieces of school life.
During the months of May and June, seniors and their families know all too well the many “Ends” that they will encounter. The end of their academic year. The end of their High School career. The end of their drama career. The end of their athletic career.
I remember witnessing one of these “Ends.” I watched the final baseball game of Jon Veenstra’s athletic career. Those of us at that game were fortunate enough to take in a dominant 11-1 EC victory. As I watched, I was particularly drawn to one of my soccer players, EC Senior Jon Veenstra. I always keep a special eye on my soccer players who compete in other sports (I’m EC’s Varsity Soccer Coach) . Jon was one of the leaders of my soccer team for the fall season and he was a leader on the basketball and baseball teams this year as well. In fact, Jon was an athletic leader at EC for his entire 4 year athletic career. Through soccer, basketball, and baseball, Jon participated in 3 athletic seasons for 4 years. He earned the “Iron Eagle” award as a result: 12 Varsity sports seasons in 4 years! But now, at the end of that baseball game, that season of his life done. He wouldn’t ever don the EC blue and gold in competitive High School athletics again. His time in this season had come to the end.
Iron Eagle award winner Jon Veenstra
So what did that mean for Jon? Without Jesus Christ, the end of his sports career might mean a loss of identity. A lot of us struggle with this idea: “We are what we do.” But as Christians, we literally claim the name of Jesus Christ as our own. So it’s not what we do; we are who we know. So Jon’s season of interscholastic competition has come to an end. But he remains the same person with the same value because of who he is in Christ. He knew Jesus before sports. He knows Jesus after sports.
Just as God pre-dates the Beginning, the Bible tells us that God post-dates the End. By acknowledging God as the Beginning and the End, we acknowledge his sovereignty over everything-even time itself! And we know that Jesus, Emmanuel- literally God WITH us- will be with us until the “very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
By acknowledging God as the Beginning and the End, we acknowledge his sovereignty over everything- even time itself!
This graduation season, I pray that our entire extended EC family will all remember anew that we worship a God who is the End. And while we can and should be proud of milestones, accomplishments, and the beginnings of new chapters that inevitably come as a result, we can be reminded that the same God who began a good work in us (the beginning) will carry it on to completion (the end). (Philippians 1:6, emphasis mine).
It was all about God. It is all about God. It will be all about God. The End.