We envision life as a series of steps toward independence. As newborns about all we can do on our own is cry and poop. As we mature, we learn how to use a spoon, put our pants on, and wobble about. But we’re still completely dependent upon others to cook our food, wash our clothing, and pay the mortgage on that house in which we wobble about.
This is the night when the earth is without form, and void, and darkness is over the face of the deep.* And the Spirit of God moves upon the face of the waters. Then God says, “Let there be light,” and there is light. The seal of the darkness is broken and the morning of the first creation breaks forth out of night.
A number of years ago I compiled the following quotes from Scripture, the early church fathers, Luther, and others that address how various Old Testament narratives foreshadowed the gifts that our Father gives us in baptism. May they enrich your understanding, as they did mine, of how the Lord has always used water and his word to bless his people.
We don’t even know her name. She is remembered only as “the little girl.” The little girl who was ripped from the arms of her mother and father, kidnapped and carried away to a strange land. The little girl who was forced into servitude. The little girl who remained anonymous and powerless. Yet without her, one of the great biblical stories would never have happened.
Today the Spirit of God who brooded over the waters of a lightless creation
Swoops down with tongues of fire to kindle faith in the re-creating work of Christ.