Time For God: June 1

Written by Paul Beckingham

Focus: Genesis 1:1: In the beginning …God
The BBC first broadcast Listen with Mother, a daily fifteen-minute children’s radio show, on 16 January, 1950. Its final show was transmitted on 10 September 1982. By then it had become a cultural icon. Feelings ran high. A national petition protested the show’s closure. Discussions about the program’s proposed ending became the subject of a British Parliamentary debate.

Warm-voiced presenters led songs and nursery rhymes, poems and stories to under-fives. Up to a million families tuned in. Each day closed to sounds of Faure’s Berceuse, a piano duet played by Eileen Browne and Roger Fiske. An ad lib line by storyteller Julia Lange earned its place in the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations: “Are you sitting comfortably? [Pause as children fidget into their comfort zone] …Then I'll begin.” For many kids, that phrase replaced “Once upon a time…
Those who have some familiarity with the Bible know another way to start a story: In the beginning …God. This story is not a song or a nursery rhyme, neither a poem nor a story for under-fives. Instead, it is the very beginning of all things seen and unseen. That narrative starts the Book of Beginnings. it reveals the God of all beginnings—and new beginnings for all people.

When—as you must—you get to the end of yourself you may doubt any new start is possible. God’s Word demonstrates His grace, God’s love for you. He makes new starts possible today. George Whitfield whispered a prayer: Lord, help me to begin to begin. We might add: again!
Every new start in faith returns you to those words. God is found in—and foundational to—all new beginnings. Unchanged, the power He demonstrates in speaking Creation into being remains. He daily speaks new creation—and re-creation—into those who call upon His Name.

My mother lived her life seeking but never connecting to the Living God. The night before her brain surgery, she made her own new beginning in faith. The surgery showed the tumor to be malignant; she had but months to live. Though fading physically, she came alive in Christ as visitors prayed with her. At 45years of age she died knowing Christ to be the Lover of her Soul. She trusted Jesus to make that new beginning real for her. While we yet have whispering breath to murmur a prayer, each of us can know the certainty of beginning again in Christ.
When have you been able to make a new beginning with God, either for the first time or for a fresh start—a faith makeover? In what area of your life would you care to make a new start, today? What might encourage you to place your trust in God to make that possible?

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through the belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of Creation.—St Patrick (b. 387 AD)
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