The Face of the Waters
Updated: Apr 19, 2021
We woke early this morning to a full moon shimmering over open waters, our bedroom glowing with with pre-dawn light. The ice went out gradually over the past couple of weeks, and by Thursday last, trumpeter swans floated serenely just off our shoreline, while two massive eagles perched half the day in a tree nearby, eyes peeled for a chilly catch. Spring has come to Green Lake.
In the beginning, Elohim created the skies and the land,
now, the land was wild and waste
and darkness was over the face of the watery deep but the breath/wind of Elohim was hovering over the face of the waters…
Thus begins the creation account, translated from Hebrew for my online “school.” I attend class most afternoons from my home library, windows facing several acres of woodland, across the street. We have the lovely privilege of sharing our front yard with one of the neighborhood’s oldest white pines, just beyond my “classroom” window, its chickadees and finch providing welcome distraction as I do my work.
In the beginning, God created order from the wild wasteland and the deep, dark waters—a wonderful blessing I do not take for granted.
Spring has arrived, and for the first time in my five decades, I bid a rather fond farewell to frosty winter. Last week, when Kyle and I took Maple for her romp in the woods, I had to admit, the trees looked naked without their caps of white, and I missed the snow-printed tracks of so many deer and forest critters. We truly enjoyed our first winter “up north.”
With the change of seasons comes inevitable outdoor labor, our landscape still needing a good bit of order. Not that the creatures around here have ever complained about too much wild, but we do hope to put at least a layer of grass between our sandy soil and our dog’s fluffy curls. We’ll plant seeds, and continue our battle against prickly ash and poison ivy, ongoing reminder of the earliest chapters of the creation account. God naming, giving order, giving rule to his human agents. Everything good. And then. Image-bearers seeing their own good, choosing a lie, paying the price.
My online teacher shows how the first chapter sets the stage for a repeated story. God’s desire from the beginning, to bring heaven and earth together through his human creation. God’s space and human space, coexisting. Every author, every chapter, repeats this story.
“This is the purpose of history: that heaven and earth come together in a royal human.”
Of course, spring also means Easter, and here, in this season of the land waking up, coming back to life, the miracle happens. Heaven and earth meet in Jesus, the royal human, who is able to do what no human agent could ever accomplish. This holy week I read the opening chapters of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, and there it is:
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)
Heaven and earth, reigning together. In Jesus. God restoring the story, because of his love. And now, like spring seedlings, we who were once dead wake up to this new garden life. Seated with him in the heavenly places, we are invited, again, to bring God’s good to our earthly spaces.
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.