Original Image by Sister Michelle Walka: “Genesis” 5.5X8.5, Acrylic on Paper November 18, 2014.
Description: This image came to mind as I contemplated God’s creative hand in the formation of the universe.

by Sister Michelle Walka

Genesis 1:1-5 – 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. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

The Reverend Dr. Deaconess Gwen Saylor reflected on this Genesis text during a bible study at World DIAKONIA. She shared that in contrast to the Babylonian creation story where the god, Marduk, created the world through violence and force, the God of Genesis hovers and sweeps over the face of the celestial waters. In this Genesis creation story, a divine rhythm of “God speaks, it happens, it is good, God names, God blesses” literally creates life in the midst of chaos and voids; and as bearers of the divine image, humanity, is commissioned to care for all creation.

With this, Saylor also shares the wisdom of Rabi Sacks defining “Sabbath” as the window of time with which we see God’s presence more clearly and “holiness” as the space we make for God’s presence and God’s otherness. This space of Sabbath and holiness draw us more fully into this creative identity and commissioning.

Where have you experienced these spaces in your life?

How have you been impacted by them?

God of Life, draw us into Sabbath and holy spaces as we face chaos and voids in our daily life. Remind us of our identity as “divine image bearers” and awaken our eyes to the people and spaces that also reflect your image, especially where we are blinded by fear, violent force, and hatred. Amen