“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”
- Genesis 1:1-2
"In the beginning..." It is hard to imagine a time before us. Before me. Before people, animals, trees, bees, and existence on our earth.
But the first verse of the Bible describes an incredible pre-life world: formless, empty, and something else bigger, vast, and mindboggling huge, simply labeled “the deep.” At the surface of this vast nothingness was darkness. Usually the surface of something reflects light, like cream rising in a cup of coffee, or sunlight twinkling at the tip of the ocean. But the surface of “the deep,” the area of lightest possible tone and hue of this unfathomable abyss, was described as darkness.
It is a bleak picture: a chasm of unknown depth and content covered by profound darkness, vacant of landscape, and surrounded by nothing.
And yet …there is something.
Something hovers over the deep darkness. Something stirs the surface, something moves. At the beginning, when there is nothing, there is “something.” The something hovers, like a mother watching her child take first steps, and the something has a name: the Spirit of God.
Then comes Genesis. Verse three: “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.’” The hovering being speaks. It speaks its first words over this murky world, and they are: LET THERE BE LIGHT. And there is light. Just like that, light overtakes “the deep” and the cavernous darkness starts to sparkle.
This may be all well and good--a nice story that makes a cute picture book for children. But how does it relate to today’s world? How does it relate to me?
Today’s world is dark. And it can be frightening to look inside ourselves and discover we have our own terrifyingly deep cavern of darkness. Despair. Defeat. Shame. Grief. Callousness. Ego. Hate. Fear. Yet in this internal darkness there is an eternal being hovering and it wants to create light with the same power that spoke original light into existence. The same being that created light out of the nothingness wants to speak hope into our hearts. The same voice that commanded "Let there be light" to a dawning world invites us with a whisper: "Let there be light." Let it exist inside us, shining, transforming, and reflecting God's Spirit and his love.
“For the God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 4:6