sexta-feira, 7 de agosto de 2015


Now the earth was formless and empty,
darkness was over the surface of the deep,
and the Spirit of God
was hovering over the waters.

Genesis 1:2 (read 1:1-5) - NIV

This passage is not intended to be a historical account of how the heavens and the earth were made. The historical and scientific facts are out of our reach. Scientists have hypotheses that are intellectual exercises that present possible explanations of the evolutionary processes of nature. They can stimulate thought and satisfy curiosity. The purpose of the scriptures is to inspire, not to explain. We err in using the ancient scriptures to try to explain how the world came to be as we know it today. The exercise of attempting to explain falls into the ridiculous.

A metaphorical (mythos) interpretation of the scriptures looks beyond a literal (logos) reading in order to understand spiritual principles of life. This passage brings a message of hope in the face of a darkness that would impede the forming of an ecological system that could sustain life.

The message of this story of creation is hope – out of darkness comes light. The beginning of the Genesis account leaves the earth in darkness and covered by the sea. Life would be impossible, but the Spirit of God hovered over the dark waters. Hope was in the "hovering of the Spirit." The conditions of anti-life were not absolute. The inhospitable place was fertilized by the Spirit. From the first moment on the divine hovering overcame obstacles, apparently insurmountable, to make way for life. This is followed by the allegorical process of creating life.

The words: "Let there be light" began to overcome the darkness and pave way for life. The light did not eliminate the darkness. Both are necessary for life. God saved the darkness as also a supporting element for life. The balance between day and night is fundamental in the order of nature. Our life is a succession of nightfalls and the daybreaks.

The suffering and anguish of night prepares the way for the beginning of a new day. Labor pains are necessary for the joy of the birth of a child. In the Gospels Jesus' death on the cross made possible the resurrection which left an empty tomb. The "hovering of the Spirit" can turn our dry deserts into green valleys, our crosses into fruit trees, our defeats into victory and our tears into laughter. Death makes life possible.

Political, social and economic darkness today frighten us. Secular and religious hatred and violence seem to have no limits. The gap between the rich and the poor is growing. The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction threatens the lives of all living beings. Consumption and rampant drug traffic feed on the spiritual emptiness of globalization. Greed and corruption are destroying millions of lives. The destruction of natural resources, pollution of water, air and soil are upsetting the ecological system and accelerating the extinction of thousands of species of plants and wildlife. Living conditions for all forms of life are increasingly precarious.

Despite the failure and the inaction of churches to address themselves to this situation we want to believe that the Divine Spirit is hovering over these dark waters. Can we expect another miracle? Can light be made to shine in order to reverse the death process and return to the path of life? Can we BE lights to shine in the darkness?



In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he 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.

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