…to rule the night

…and it was night

Holy Week and Creation: a comparison

God’s fourth love song for his creation

40 Blogs of Lent: Day 37

Far side of the moon
The far side of the moon seen from Apollo 13

The first chapter of the Book of Genesis is theology, but not theology as we know it. It is not the theology of learned people using the academic language for academic people, nor is it a historical account. It is certainly not science. What it is is a statement of God of his love for the universe he created. “God saw that it was good.”

This is God’s love song for creation.

There is a correlation with the events of Holy Week, from Jesus entering into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to being in the tomb on the following Saturday. It is not a perfect correlation, but there is enough similarity to make looking at it interesting. The events of Holy week fall into line with the love song of God for creation.

This is Jesus’ love song for the earth.

In God’s love song for creation, the fourth song goes back to the beginning. God has brought light, hope by ordering chaos and life. God now populates the heavens and sings a song of praise to it, a song to which the psalmist responds,

When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?
Psalm 8:3&4

God’s creation is truly awe-inspiring. The view of the thousands upon thousands of stars visible in a cloudless sky and where there is no light pollution is breathtaking to think that each one is a sun with the possibility of having its own solar system of planets asteroids and comets. The vastness of God’s creation has been amazing people for millennia, it is more than we can take in.

That is just the night time, that time of dark, shadows and danger. In these days of coronavirus pandemic, people feel as if they are without hope with no end in sight or knowledge of what things will be like when it’s over. I learned early this morning that my father in hospital has got COVID-19, I feel numb.

Wednesday in Holy Week is sometimes called Spy Wednesday. It is the day of Jesus being anointed at Bethany, after which Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 Apostles went to the Jewish authorities to betray Jesus. This is the day of betrayal. John’s Gospel says that a day later, when Judas leaves the supper, he says, “And it was night.” to emphasise the bleakness of the situation. It was night, but the night always comes to an end.

People are in a spiritual night over the confusion of the coronavirus COVID-19 not being able to see hope. People have been without hope before. The Lectio365 app meditation for 25th March spoke about Judah being in exile in Babylon. People could see no hope, describing themselves as dead. In that situation God gave the prophet Ezekiel a vision of a valley full of dry bones coming to life, having flesh put on them and being filled with God’s spirit.

Even when we feel life is bleakest God is able to act and does act. There is hope to be found in God.

14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
Genesis 1:14–19

Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 4 But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, 5 “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?”
John 12:3–5

30 So, after receiving the morsel of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night.
John 13:30 ESVUK

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