In the Beginning . . . Part 1

Randy Smit

READ : Genesis 1:1-2

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. (vv. 1-2 NRSV)

The story of the beginning is one we’ve heard before. As familiar as it is, we may not pause to think about it very much. But what happens in the beginning has everything to do with what happens afterward.

When I was a pastor in training, a professor required us to read the Genesis account as though for the first time. “Lay out a careful description of what you see,” he said. I was resistant. I had read this one already. How could I learn what I already “knew”?

I noticed the story describes when and who as much as what was happening. I struggled to imagine emptiness, the dark face of the deep. In the ancient world, the Hebrews envisioned God’s Ruach, which can mean either “breath,” “wind,” or “Spirit.” The story was passed down for generations about how God’s life-breath was sweeping fresh upon the mysterious unmade world. Something profoundly beautiful was just about to happen.

Can you imagine a time before God’s Spirit brought everything to life? Take a walk and consider all you see. Witness the fresh creation. Today can be a day to anticipate something wonderful, to marvel at the gift of life.


Lord, may we see creation as a new and miraculous surprise, marveling at all your Spirit is still doing. Amen.