From everlasting to everlasting you are God.Psalm 90:2 ESV
This is one of the more interesting descriptions of God in the Scriptures. One of the attributes of his being is that of eternality. What this describes is the idea that God has neither beginning nor end. But to our mind this concept of timelessness does not really make much sense. We can pretend to imagine what it means but we always struggle to make sense of it in its actuality.
The notion that God has no beginning and that he has no end is a key aspect of who he is. But often because it is so mysterious we struggle to see its significance. What is it that makes God’s eternality an important aspect of not only his being but also our understanding of his purposes in our lives? The easiest way of thinking about this is to consider the fact that God’s timelessness affords him a freedom we do not possess and yet long time have.
when time ceases to be the idea of a moment will be erased. What we will be left with is an ever-present present. The very notions of past and future will cease. And what we will be left with is the intimacy of the immediate moment.Tweet
The freedom of God to be God, to not be encumbered by the effects of time, affords God the perspective on life and living unique to him. This is why when he discloses to us who he is and what he knows we should not fear our finiteness in comparison to him.
Because God is not restricted by the passage of time he does not fear, and indeed cannot fear, what will happen at the “end.” For God has no end. He has no beginning. And there is therefore nothing that hinders him from embracing the fullness of living.
The promise of eternal salvation is one of the greatest gifts God can give to us. In giving us eternal life God gives us a glimpse into what it means to see through his eyes. We have a beginning. Each of us does. But because of God’s image impressed upon our being, we can say we participate to a limited degree with this everlasting aspect of God’s being. We cannot become God or small gods. But rather we can get a taste of what it means to exist as God does. This too is a mystery. One that cannot be fully explained with human words. One that we can merely understand through allusion and comparison.
One of the wonders of the Christian faith can be found in what we are initiated into who we profess faith in Jesus Christ. And what we have been given access to as a result of our trust in the sacrifice of Christ. That mystery is the promise of everlasting life. What this fully means, and how this will be fully expressed, cannot be known until we step out of this life and into the presence of God. But even now we can get glimpses of what it means to live in God’s presence when we worship in song and in deed.
It is through these temporary enactments of daily living that we are exposed to the kind of life we will experience when we cross over from this world into the next.
The reality of the season of Lent in which we are now celebrating, we can take a moment and reflect on what is to come. The irony of this framework between time and timelessness is that when time ceases to be the idea of a moment will be erased. What we will be left with is an ever-present present. The very notions of past and future will cease. And what we will be left with is the intimacy of the immediate moment.
So while we travel life’s road and commemorate the season of reflection, my hope is that we will not lose sight of the glorious promises being fulfilled in the present moments we are passing through.