“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.”~Genesis 1:1-2
This past Saturday I was doing my usual errands…grocery shopping, Target run, working out. I was traveling the streets that I do so often, those streets that I move along never expecting to see something that jars me out of my daily sleep walking. Do you travel such streets? As I stopped at a four way intersection, my eyes veered toward the sign at a local Lutheran church. It is an occupational habit to read the signs outside churches. They can tell you a lot about a congregation or, at least, a lot about the person who decides what goes on the outside message sign.
“Every April God Rewrites the Book of Genesis”. Those were the bold words that greeted me on an ordinary day. An ordinary day that happened to also be cold and a little bleak. An ordinary April day in Minnesota. But the sign gave me such pleasure. I laughed out loud, turned the corner and came back to take a photo of the sign. As I snapped the picture I silently gave thanks for the clever person who had decided that this was the message this particular church was sending out into the world this week. The message that had stopped my mindless moving in the world and had woken me up.
Though the last days have felt anything but spring-like there are signs of beginning…of Genesis…everywhere. Crocus blooms have thumbed their noses at the colder temperatures and decided to be the first to show up at the party that will become summer. Their cousins, the tulips, are also giving it a go, fanning their green arms in the air while holding back a bit with anything colorful. Yesterday on my evening walk, a forsythia bush screamed for attention saying ” Look at me! I’m yellow!” Indeed, you are.
It is not only our eyes that have the opportunity to know that life is beginning to rise from the sometimes seemingless ‘formless void’ of winter. Have you noticed the sounds of morning these last days? The birds are busy making morning music that says Creation is on the move. There is a calling out to one another or a ‘hey, I’m back, good to see you again’ song that can make walking in the morning as loud as a rock concert.
April is the month when the book of Genesis gets rewritten. The morning sky paints itself with pinks and oranges with the sheer goodness of light. Not to be outdone the evening heavens seem to want to do the same. Reds and golds accompany the Sun as it ends another day of hard work, work that has coaxed new life out of ground that has lay cold and hard, out of branches that have been stiff and unyielding in the winter winds.
I am of the strong belief that the book of Genesis is being rewritten all the time, every day,every moment, every year, if our heart is open and our minds awake. But April is the month when those of us with words have the opportunity to give fresh eyes and ears to a world that is always reaching toward resurrection. It is an awesome task to give oneself over to noticing and paying attention. And yet that is our calling.
Will you watch with me? Will you look for signs of newness and offer your gratitude? Will you help tell the story of light coming out of darkness, life coming out of death? Will you declare over and over again…it is good? Very, very good.