Light When It Is Dark
And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was upon the deep. Genesis 1:2a
“Tohu Wa Bohu”
These are the Hebrew words found in Genesis 1 verse 2 used to describe the state of the earth before its creation. Various translations use various words to describe the emptiness: Void, waste, nothing, desolation, chaos. Each of these indicate the hopelessness of this moment.
And darkness was upon the deep.
Martin Luther, in his commentary on Genesis says of this portion of the verse:
The “water,” the “deep,” are here put for the same thing; namely, for that dark unformed substance which afterwards was divided by the Word. For it was the office of the second Person of the Trinity, namely Christ, the Son of God, to divide and adorn that chaotic mass produced from nothing.
With the benefit of hindsight, we look back upon these earliest verses of Scripture, as does Luther, and we see Christ. For it is Christ, the Word of God, which brings meaning to that which is meaningless and purpose to that which is empty. It is Christ who adorns and divides the void, bringing about significance, and worth, life, and hope to that which was without.
Luther’s words echo the Gospel of John:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-4
From its very first verses the Bible points to Jesus as the source of life and meaning for the world. And during this season of Epiphany, when it is still darker than it is light, when the world is cold and harsh, when problems may seem many, let us not forget, he remains the light, with power to break the darkness of our lives, our world, even death.
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness will not overcome it.
~Pastor Mike Middaugh