The earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
One of the most frightening features of life for ancient people was chaos. Health, food, and security were unpredictable. Chaos was symbolized by the formless sea, the abyss, an empty void, a chasm, or a gaping hole. The threat of chaos struck terror in people’s hearts.
The Bible’s opening words speak of order and comfort in the face of chaos. Genesis 1:1 boldly proclaims, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Then chaos is introduced: “The earth was formless and empty.” And next come words of great comfort: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.” Some Bible versions use brooding here.
But hovering or brooding isn’t something that ended when God made the world. The Creator Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, still hovers or broods over his creation. Like an eagle hovering or brooding over its young, the Holy Spirit still sustains the world, because our world belongs to God.
Today we fear chaos too. So many things can come at us from so many directions so quickly that it can seem our world is threatened with destruction and death.
Are you afraid? Today, deep in your heart, may the “Creator Spirit, by whose aid the world’s foundations first were laid,” assure you that he is present, hovering, brooding, upholding, sustaining you and his world.
Holy Spirit, who with the Father and the Son created the world, fill our lives with your presence, comfort, and courage. Amen.
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