“Where did we come from?” and “Where is our final destination in this world?” are the eternal questions that every human quests. The answer to those questions will lead human beings to understand the meaning of their existence in this world that urges them to act in order to arrive at their destinations. This paper will also describe the meaning of the beginning, creation, and the end, eschatology that relates to the questions above, and will reflect on the meaning of creation and eschatology for our life today.
A. Creation is Unending Action of God
Genesis 1:1-23 is the most famous reflection about the cosmogony redacted according to the Priestly tradition. The historical background of this story is the experience of the exile in Babylon in the sixth BC. Israel was questioning how God would save them, because they lived in a foreign land. Some of them still believed that God was faithful in his covenant; He would not forsake his beloved people: “Those who survived the trauma reasserted their belief in God’s power over chaos. They did this by developing their own creation narrative.” This story is not intended to report historical facts, but it expresses their belief in God as creator and savior of Israel who will bring them back to the Promised Land.
The second story of creation, Genesis 2-3, is produced by the Jahwist tradition. It reflects on the royal ideology and the identity of Israel as the chosen people of God, and also describes the reasons for the current condition in Israel.  Genesis 2-3 focuses on the intimate relationship between Israel and Yahweh. God gives the Promised Land to Israel, just as God placed Adam and Eve in the garden. The sin, however, destroys their relationship and causes human beings to lose their access to God. Thus, the suffering and death in the world was a consequence of this human sinfulness (Gen 3, 4:1-16, 6:5-6).
The story of creation describes how God intends to share his divinity with human beings by giving them the authority and power to master the other creatures (Gen 2:15-20). Moreover, “He takes the initiative and freely entered into relationship, both in creation and in the covenant with Israel.” He created the world, but he does not leave it; He enters into the world and lives with the world, as God. Therefore the creation story is related always with the story of Israel’s identity - that God has been chosen them as the holy nation - and it becomes the foundation of the narrative story of their faith in God
God’s unending action in the world is also shown when he recreates the world after the flood (Gen. 9:1-17). The flood happens because of human sin destroyed their relation with God, others and the environment. God, however, takes the initiative to restore the world again. The chaos of the water (Gen.7:11) and the spirit (Gen. 8:1) refer to the story of Genesis 1 that God is working to create new world as he did before. His promise to Noah portrays his commitment to the world that he is faithful to his covenant. God’s promises will stand forever, if human beings also keep his covenant.
B. The Correlation between Creation and Eschatology
What the bible says about the beginning is to reflect on God’s action in human history. Our history becomes the history of salvation because God involved in our world, and the human life and environment are the places where God is continuing his work. He is not outside the world, but he is in the world and beyond the world. The story of creation, moreover, emphasizes that God had a purpose when he created the universe and his purpose was to save the human being and all the creatures. His salvation occurs from the beginning, when he created the universe, until the end of time when he will create new heaven and a new earth (Rev. 21).
The story of creation in the deutero Isaiah (40-50) provides an understanding of how creation and redemption relate to each other. The prophet Isaiah consoles Israel to hope that after the exile from the Babylon; God will renew his people as a new creation (Isaiah 44:24-45:13). In these passages “creation is not simply an act of God in the beginning, but rather God’s continual involvement throughout history.” God will create a new life as he did in the Genesis’ story because he is God as creator and savior.
The relationship between creation and redemption is portrayed also in some New Testament passages focusing on the significance of Jesus’ agency in the creation and redemption (Colossians 1:15-20, John 1: 1-10). The letter to the Colossians stresses Christ’s agency in the creation: “For in him were created all things in heaven and on earth” (Col. 1:16). This hymn also emphasis that Christ is the redeemer of creation: “And through him to reconcile all things to himself.” (Col. 1: 20). God reconciles himself and the creation though the death and the resurrection of Christ. Christ’s redemption means that God renews the original creation which was destroyed because of sin.
The book of Revelation states clearly about the relationship between the beginning and the end: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, says the lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty” (Rev. 1:8); “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Rev. 22:13). These verses provide a framework for how human beings should reflect about this world and their lives. The world has its own purpose that is going back to God because “God not only causes the beginning and the end, but is himself beginning and end.”
In short, what is the significance of beginning and end in the bible? The beginning and the end have the same content in that they tell the story of salvation, and they share similar language and motifs. The creation, the calling of Abraham and the Jesus’ event portray God’s action on behalf of this world. The central message is that God renews the universe though the redemption of Christ.
C. Creation, Eschatology, and Our Hope
The discussion about creation and eschatology provides an understanding that the creator will bring this world to its fulfillment in the future. Human salvation has happened already but it is not fully realized yet, so the Christians live in the tension between “already and not yet” receiving the fullness of God’s salvation. From that perspective, the Christians built their hope, hope for God’s salvation in the final reality, eschata.
Hope is always related to the idea of a new condition that demands Christians to participate in God’s plan to renew the world. Karl Rahner emphasizes that Christian hope for the future fulfillment only can be placed in what has already occurred in the Christ’s event: his life, suffering, death and resurrection. Every Christian’s participation in God’s plan, therefore, should follow what Christ did to bring the kingdom of God in this world. Genuine hope will lead everyone to create justice and peace, as Jesus said in his Sermon on the plain (Luke 6:20-29).
Creating justice and peace also connect with the actual issues of the environment. The problems of our environment happen because human beings are manipulating nature without respect and love. People abuse the land because they regard it as a commodity that belongs to them, and they do not consider that our land represents a global community to which they belong. For many years they have treated nature unjustly, and now nature has become unfriendly and no longer “a sweet home” for everyone to live in. Therefore, we should have a new way and paradigm that can show us how to treat the land and nature with respect.
Christians’ participation in God’s plan is to participate in recreating the new world. Therefore, the issue of ecology is the Christians’ problem because they who are baptized in his name have a responsibility to become Christ’s coworkers in renewing the world and protecting the natural world that God created. Therefore, the Christians’ hope is always a communal hope, our hope, not only an individual hope, as the community of believers work together to make the hope become real in our life today.
In summary, creation and eschatology provide a framework for how Christians should reflect on their life in the world. Moreover, the message of the beginning and the end calls for every human person to participate in the God’s unending action in this world until the end time comes as the fulfillment of God’s salvation.
 Anne M. Clifford, Creation, in “The Systematic Theology”, Francis S. Fiorenza and John P. Galvin (ed), (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1991), 199.
 Ibid., 201.
 Terence E. Fretheim, God and World in the Old Testament, (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2005), 22-23.
 Ibid., 81.
 Anne M. Clifford, Ibid., 204.
 Barth, Marcus and Blanke, Hemut., Colossians, Anchor Bible (New York: A Division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, 1994), 113.
 Clause Westermann, Beginning and End in the Bible, (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1973), 36.
Richard J. Clifford and John R. Sachs, Theses for a Theology and Eschatology, (WJST: handout, 2008), 1.
 Ibid., 2.
Anthony Kelly, Eschatology and Hope, (New York: Orbis Book, 2006), 31.