“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5 NKJV
There was only darkness, profound chaos, complete confusion, and utter emptiness. There was nothing. And then there was everything. Everything spoken into existence by the voice of the God, “ Let there be …” and with those words, light shone out of the darkness, and order arose out and over the chaos, and the emptiness was drowned and filled with good things. Engineered perfection, and the creation was God’s good pleasure.
The universe is a production of God’s free will, goodness, wisdom, love and omnipotence. Hence it is important for us to understand that God created the world and all that exists therein, not to satisfy some ‘need’ of His. Rather He created it, being the world, without compulsion and without force in order that the creation, including us, may enjoy His blessings and share in His goodness, to live in ultimate and pure love with the trinity.
“It was good”, God said.
But it wasn’t long before the perfection of the natural order would be wrecked. Despite this ignition to the beginnings of all beginnings some billion plus years ago, the proceedings of the creation, do not stand so far from home for the most of us. The first chapter of Genesis reminds us of something we feel in our hearts already, present today. The way things are now, is not the way things were intended to be or how things were supposed to work out for us. We can constantly feel that deep dark emptiness, the void, and the complete chaos, but the darkness can be engulfed by the light that was brought into world; order can be restored over the chaos in our hearts, through the light that encompasses, warms and fills everything ‘therein’ with good things.
Saint Paul highlights this notion in his Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15 “Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” (Genesis chapter 1 verse 3) who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” He shows us that this majestic and mystical light is a light that also shines in our hearts to enlighten our minds and perspective, to purify our knowledge and to teach us the truth of Christ our God. It is a light of knowledge, the greatest knowledge of all. It is the light that validates those who have given us the Scripture and the writings of the Prophets and Church Fathers. It is the light that overcomes the chaotic darkness and for those who are far from Him, corrects our ignorance of the Creator. Saint Paul also makes mention of this profound Light of Truth that we receive during the sacrament of Baptism and that is further nurtured and sustained through the sacrament of Holy Communion.
It is only through the Orthodox way of life we are purified and prepared, so that we can know this “Light” which gives us the full truth and a faith that is unshakable. Saint John Chrysostom reinforces this further and says, “…this visible light, produced by the command of the Lord, removed the darkness from our vision, in like manner the light coming to our minds dissipated the darkness of error, and led those in error to the truth.”
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” John 1:1-5 NKJV
It was the Word that set things in motion, and that Word still speaks. For the Word is Christ. He was with God before the beginning; indeed, He was God, shining in the darkness. The Word still speaks. The Light still Shines. The Light ALWAYS restores.
Let us be continually renewed in the Light through repentance and the gift of the Holy Sacraments, and behold ourselves in God’s good pleasure.
Glory to God for all Things.
SAYG ~ Michael Soliman.