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 Night. And there was evening
and there was morning,
the first day... (NRSV)
The Hebrew Scriptures open with the Song of Creation.
Here, it seems, the writer gazes in awe at the sheer abundance and variety of Creation - and suddenly receives the insight that there was a time when there was nothing.
For a culture whose life was so governed by the seasons - where the cycle of sun and rain seemed to go backwards - and forwards - into the mists of years, this insight was dramatic....and inspired a Poem in praise of the One who could breathe on oblivion and call into being a planet of breathtaking beauty and seemingly infinite variety - set in a universe held in being in the Hand of God.
What is still more wonderful was that the writer of the Song of Creation had not seen what we have seen - the pictures of our home-planet from space -
nor did they know what we know - that our universe contains wonders and mysteries that defy the imagination - and that our universe is but one of many...
As science opens up the
wonder and complexity - and simplicity - of Creation, the Song of Creation still rings
true for those who see the Hand of God still cherishing -