Scripture Text: Genesis 1:1-5a, 31a, 2:1-3
In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night…God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good…Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude. And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
We’re never really sure what to do with this day. Everything is so quiet, so unsettled. Memories of the week before interrupt our quiet thoughts, filling our minds with regrets over things we would have done differently, places we would have said “yes”, places we would have said “no”, places that we would have stood, places that we would have stayed. The Cross is empty and Jesus is gone, laid in the tomb–forever. We know that we will have to go on but we’re not sure how to do that. This is a day when once again, we are covered in darkness. The earth feels out of sorts, almost formless and empty once again. And so we sit here in these hours before the dawn with no direction, no guide, no journey that we can see.
And, yet, God has done this before, this creating. God takes a formless voice that is immersed in darkness and sweeps into it bringing Light. God creates and we become. God creates and the world begins to move. God creates and everything is as it should be. And then God rested. This seventh day, this Sabbath, this day of rest, is not the low point of Creation but the veritable climax. It is the edge of everything that will be, the veritable edge of Glory. This is the day to sit without doing, to sit without trying to “fix” the world, without trying to “fix” ourselves, without even worrying what the future may hold, and let the peace of God sweep over us once again. This is the day to sit in the silence and hear the voice that is beckoning us to a New Creation. Whether we can see it or not, this is the day that we are standing on the edge of Glory. It is not what we planned; it is not what we envisioned; it is new. Creation is happening now–in the quiet, in the darkness.
So what do we do today in these hours before the dawn? It’s hard for those of us that want to make the future right. It’s hard for us in a place where it’s always been so easy, so protected, to live with both the memories of yesterday and the uncertain future of a world that seems to teeter even now on the brink of furthering its own demise. This is a day filled with talk of bombs and crosses. It is a world that only faith can redeem. What do we do? Nothing…just rest…and let God create you. This is the moment of your re-creation. God is walking in the darkness with you. It may not be what you imagined but it will be right. The light is just over the darkened horizon.
The pilgrims sit on the steps of death. Undanced, the music ends. Only the children remember that tomorrow’s stars are not yet out. (Ann Weems)
Grace and Peace,
One thought on “In the Hours Before the Dawn”
Bombs are dropping. People are being killed. Still a lot of work to do.