From nothing, something. From chaos, calm. From formless, to faithful presence. In the beginning, God created. God creates through speech. The point is that this is not the doing of the gaggle of gods found in Egypt, Babylon, or elsewhere. God speaks and from the word there comes life, definition, clarity, and even separation.

In the beginning the earth was empty. The Hebrew word for this is TOHUWABOHU. Formless. Void. (Genesis 1:1-2) Do you ever look at your inward tohuwabohu and wonder, “What word will God speak into me? How can God turn my chaos into a life-giving space, with fullness and clarity?”

You may know that the close friend and disciple of Jesus, John, would pick up on this image in his gospel and say that Christ was in the beginning with God and that through Christ all things were made. John’s connection is good: Christ’s teachings bring clarity and fullness. I’ve come that they may have life and to the fullest. Just as God speaks spaces (sky, ground, sea) and creates life to fill those spaces, so too Jesus speaks into the various spaces in our life and gives us abundant life. (see John 1:1-5)

Due to the consistent patterns in each of the days of creation, many scholars have concluded that Genesis 1 and 2 are part of a liturgy. It is a moving, sobering, theological reflection. Its cadence is poetic. There is naming and separation and a command to fill. When our parents name us they are separating us from all other people and declaring, “To me you are separate and distinct.” God calls and names and defines and God calls us by name, “This says the LORD, who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear now, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) In other words, on a planet of faces and teeming life, you are no stranger to God. You are written into the liturgy of Divine Love.

These few pages of Scripture are not an owner’s manual with hieroglyphics that tell us how it is all put together as if the cosmos were unpacked from a cardboard box. It happened and it was chaotic and not put together or defined, but God (both Mystery and Marvel) brought coalescence and life. The Scriptures are most preoccupied with not how (science) or when (history), but who and why. Who are you, O Creator, and who am I? Why am I here?

As we think of living on this beautiful blue marble, it is fitting to think of the days we spend here. In this text, the days are linear. There is the first day, then the second, then the third and so on to the seventh where God rests. There is morning, evening, and the next day. Time moves forward. This day will never be lived again. There is a deadline. Days and life begin and so they end. Our work and life will be done and one day we will rest. Then, through the sure and certain hope of the resurrection through Christ Jesus our Lord, God will speak into that void and bring us new life, filled to overflowing with thanks and praise.

Categories:

Tags:

Comments are closed