Let There Be Light

Genesis 1:1-19

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.

Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. God called the space “sky.”

And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.

Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened.12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.

13 And evening passed and morning came, marking the third day.

14 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.

19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day.

Reflection

The dual concepts of darkness and light form grand thematic images throughout the Bible. In fact it’s from this most foundational of all partnerships that God begins the great work of his Creation. Biblical illustrations at times represent darkness as evil, or the force that works in opposition to God. Yet if we take a moment to meditate on the opening of God’s grand narrative we see darkness in a wider scope. It is a canvas waiting for illumination. Even the darkness belongs to God.

In this passage darkness is not a cover for flourishing sin but a substance of infinite possibility, hovering in expectation of the Word of its Master. God is not afraid of darkness. Instead, in this first moment of Creation he demonstrates the perfection and power of his authority by transforming and dividing the darkness with the one thing that can overcome it – light. His word alone is enough to bring forth this miracle that becomes the sustaining force of all life on earth.

In contrast to the day, marked by exposure to the fullness of the sun, night is governed by the reflection of the sun – the moon. Only through the softening of radiance into the subtlety of night are we able to see past the atmosphere of the earth and into the vastness of God’s universe. This is when His stars shine in all their beauty. 

Prayer:

Consider the patterns of God as delineated by the echoes of night and day and wonder at the vastness of the universe.

1 reply
  1. Julie Anne Halvo
    Julie Anne Halvo says:

    I had never thought of the darkness as God’s ‘canvas awaiting illumination’ …. and as one who had a crippling fear of the dark as a child this is a profound thought and one I wish I had heard decades ago! Every word of this speaks to my heart and mind.

    Reply

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