According to this Creation account, the created order, includ- ing human existence, begins in darkness when “a wind from God” sweeps over the face of the waters. Though God separates light from darkness and day from night on the rst day, God does not eliminate the darkness. It remains part of the created order. God’s creation of the sun, moon, and stars on the fourth day illuminates the day and the night and marks the seasons. Though light shines in the darkness, darkness remains.
As Christians, we often speak of shining God’s light into the dark places of our world, and many places could use God’s light to expose injustice and human need. But we may miss valuable aspects of God’s grace if we are scared of the dark. Seeds germi- nate in the loamy damp soil before a sprout emerges in the sun; sometimes new life in us begins in darkness too. Though we grow in our knowledge of God’s way of love when exposed to the light of our community and the beauty of creation, we also come to know God and ourselves in new ways when nothing seems clear to us. We nd new depths of understanding about our relationship with God when clouds obscure the moon and stars, and we must make our way step by step, trying not to fall over the roots and rocks in the path.
We do one another a disservice if we insistently connect darkness to a lack of faith. Acknowledging darkness as part of our Christian life and caring for those who are in the midst of uncertain places is part of what we are called to do and be for one another. Indeed, we might ask God to make our experiences of darkness rich with possibilities for knowing God’s presence.
How have you connected to God in a new way through an experience of darkness?
Trinity Sunday is an appropriate time for the church to reflect on the dynamic tension between what we know of God and our attempts to formulate and articulate what we know. The Genesis text demonstrates that the God of Israel, the creator of heaven and earth, is unlike other gods and must be served and worshiped exclusively. The psalm asserts the same power of God but is more explicit about the implications for human life of God’s governance. The Gospel reading re ects on the gift of God’s presence in the church, a presence marked by moral expectation and demand, as well as assurance. The epistle reading voices the strange convergence of God’s authority and God’s remarkable grace known through the presence of Christ.
• Read Genesis 1:1–2:4a. God takes a break. When do you allow yourself to step away from the busyness of the world for some much-needed sabbath time?
• Read Psalm 8. This song of praise exalts the order and majesty of creation. We, like the psalmist, ask, “God, why do you care for humankind?” How do you respond?
• Read 2 Corinthians 13:11-13. What ways can you envision yourself acting to calm disagreements and tension within your church community?
• Read Matthew 28:16-20. Jesus gives his disciples clear instructions: Go, make disciples, baptize, teach. How is your discipleship evident in your “going”?
Respond by posting a prayer.
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