From Pauses for Pentecost
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.
The first image given to us in the Bible is beautifully poignant and powerful. It is the picture of God’s Spirit hovering over the primal chaos. Because of the presence of the Holy Spirit, we know that chaos is not going to have the final word. There is the always present possibility that God will bring beauty, meaning, and order into the murky mess. As we read further in the first chapter of Genesis, this is certainly what happens. The Spirit causes chaos to become cosmos.
We are no strangers to chaos. Sometimes the chaos is internal as we wrestle with conflicting desires and yearnings, tearing us in different directions. Or sometimes we struggle to hold our close relationships together in the midst of the demands of everyday life. Chaos threatens as we seek to earn an income in a tough work environment or as we wrestle with an addiction sabotaging our lives. Or we might battle a potentially life-threatening illness or live in a community torn apart by violence and crime. For some of us, chaos almost becomes the new normal.
The good news is that the Spirit of God hovers over our chaos. Just as in the first Creation story, there is always the potential for the Spirit to bring beauty out of the ugliness, meaning out of the mess, and order out of the unformed. The important task for us is to stay aware and responsive to the creative actions of the Spirit hovering over our lives. We need to ask, What are the new, unexplored possibilities emerging in our lives, our relationships, our work, and our community? How can we cooperate with these life-giving opportunities?
Easter people constantly ask the Holy Spirit to hover over their chaos and to bring about new creation. Will you ask this of the Holy Spirit today?
Name your chaos before God today. Ask for the Holy Spirit to hover over you. Look for the signs of new creation breaking out within and around you.