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; and God 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.
Before God created, there was only God. Otherwise, there was a formless void, and a thick impenetetrable darkness. However, along with that darkness, there was movement. That movement was God’s breath, pushing and stirring through the darkness and into the voids. Into the emptiness. That breath powered forth the generative words of God which said, “Let there be light.” Light. God’s first creative act. Light that penetrates, illumines, and generates. And it is GOOD.
It might be safe to assume that most of us experienced the events of national turmoil from yesterday as a time of darkness…a frightening time that threatened to jettison us into an empty void. Faith leaders all over the country called us to prayer. Prayer is indeed essential and the one sure way that we can join with the life-generating Light of God. And so yes, let us indeed pray!
When we pray, we are reminded of who God is. God is the One who was there in the beginning. God is the One who will be there in the end. And God is the One whose spirit moves even now through our current darkness and into our empty voids. God’s breath pushes and stirs, even now, to generate life. Our prayers help us to join with Him in His Kingdom-generating voice.
Please consider this as an invitation from your Bishop to turn off the disturbing scenes of your television and social media and open your Books of Common Prayer, your Bibles, and your devotional books. Make contact with the Light of Christ and then turn and be that Light to someone else.
O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Collect for Mission from Morning Prayer II, Book of Common Prayer, p. 100)
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Guidance, Book of Common Prayer, p. 832)
O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray to your presence, where we may be still and know that you are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Quiet Confidence, Book of Common Prayer, p. 832)
Assist us mercifully, O Lord, in these our supplications and prayers, and dispose of the way of your servants towards the attainment of everlasting salvation; that, among all the changes and chances of this mortal life, they may ever be defended by your gracious and ready help; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Prayer for Protection, Book of Common Prayer, p. 832)