In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2)
As the New Year begins, I’ve been thinking about the beginning of Scripture and of creation. Certainly God knew his plan, but to an outside eye, it was dark, and what would become the beauty of earth was hidden … It was without form and void. But God was there, speaking … hovering just over the depths.
Scripture moves on, with much beauty, but also with mankind’s consistent failure to live into the image of God to which we were crafted. In Ezekiel 36:25-26 we hear God’s promise of new creation: I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleanness, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from you and give you a heart of flesh. God created the world and he created man. He promises a recreation, a restoration.
We live in that newness as Christians. Paul carries this language of creation and recreation forward. In 2 Corinthians 5:17, he writes, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.
This is on my mind because I feel like I’m in the middle of many stories that are unresolved … murky … maybe even formless, void, and dark to someone on the outside looking in … even to me. But you see, I DO believe that God is Lord over all stories. In fact, he hovers very closely right above the depths and he has a plan. I wish he would share it sooner or more clearly than he chooses to, but the fact that I don’t see the plan does not diminish its reality.
I choose to believe, and I invite you to do so too. God has created and is creating. God has redeemed and is redeeming. Praise be to God!
Lord God, you who spoke creation into being; speak into my life. Create and redeem! And allow me to see and celebrate each new blossom you bring into the formless void. Help me to wait patiently and expectantly, certain of your unfailing love even in the murky, dark days. May I truly magnify you, Lord, with a discipline of praise and gratitude. In your name I pray, Amen.