Neil’s pet peeve is to be late to a movie. If he gets to do things his way, we’re there at least a good twenty minutes before showtime. He wants the short concession line, the good seats, the previews…and, most of all, he wants to see every second of the movie. It’s his opinion that if you’re too late to see the beginning of the film, then you better wait for the next showing. Because to get the full impact of the plot, to really understand the ending…you have to see the beginning. The resolution won’t mean as much to you if you missed the birth of the conflict.
And his point is valid — when I was learning the nuts and bolts of writing a screenplay, I found that almost all movies drop their theme into the first segment of the show…and, usually, a moment is presented that shows us exactly how far that character has to go/learn/grow throughout the movie…which leads us to fully understanding and appreciating the end-transformation.
Thinking about the importance of knowing the beginning of a story brought the book of Genesis to my mind. Genesis is the first book of the Bible, written by Moses (the man who led the Israelites across the parted Red Sea) and honored by Christians and people of the Jewish faith. It is the beginning of humanity’s story — and God is the beginning of our story. In Genesis, we see God’s loving creation of our world and of our ancestors…we see the roots of the salvation planned for us from the start. I’ve been rereading it and as I have, I’m amazed at how everything I can see in human nature today is in this ancient book. There’s love, betrayal, anger, rebellion, fear, crime, punishment, and redemption…and, through it all, God Is.
He is the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and the Omega, and to fully grasp the magnitude of that statement, you can’t miss Genesis. If you want to understand the fullness of His mercy towards man and the power of His redemption, then you have to see man’s fall…and, trust me, you will be awed at the theme you see in these early scenes of history and how it plays out in every moment of history. Because from the beginning, He is Love. Right now, in the middle of our story, He is Love. And on the last page of this earth’s story, He is Love.
Over the next little while, I’m going to walk us through this first book of the Bible…and we will see how our redemption — our heart-transformation– was the plan from the start.