Wind Upon the Waters
Bradenton-Sarasota Congregation Online Worship
January 10, 2021
Call to Worship
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1). With these words, ancient Hebrew priests imagined a story of Creation where God is at the center of the story. Today we, too, are invited to imagine so that we can see the Wind Upon the Waters and hear God’s voice echo the words “let there be light” over the deep that we might honor the Sacredness of Creation and bring praise to the Lord.
Breath of Heaven – Amy Grant
Message Thru Scripture by Elder Cliff Danville
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. Genesis 1:1-5 – NRSV
In the beginning. That is usually a good place for a story to start, in the beginning. However, this story is about us. In the beginning. This story tells us who we are, where we came from, why we are here. The New International Version Bible tells us, “the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters” while the New Revised Standard Version tells us, “a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.” Another visualization of this event is, God Breathed. God breathed life into this world and into each of our lives. We belong to God. We are his children. We live in his creation. We are here because God breathed.
Another “In the beginning” is brought to us in the Gospel of John.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-15 – NIV
The Spirit of God is difficult at best to be described in words. And yet, here we have the Spirit, Jesus Christ, God described as the Word. The spoken word had no form, no shape. Words take up no space. You cannot see them. But, we can hear them. They can be whispered, spoken, or shouted. While having no form, words can be very powerful. They can bring peace and reconciliation. They can also move armies of men and machine. What will the words that I convey to you cause to happen? My hope would be to stir in you the Spirit of love and reconciliation (harmony) with God and all creation.
When God breathed creation into being, was it with a shout, normal voice, or a whisper? The Spirit has always been described to me as a still quiet voice. Something which must be nurtured. Something which requires our full attention to hear. I like the idea that God is so powerful that he merely whispered so quietly that nobody noticed. However, at times in my life, my experiences have been somewhat contrary to these ideas. Sometimes, to get through, the Spirit may shout.
When Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem, the angels burst forth singing, celebrating, beating their wings! It was not a whisper. It was an explosion! Yet, except for a few, the world heard it not. At the Pentecost in Acts 2, the Spirit comes with the sound of a violent wind.
When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Acts 2:1-4
The Spirit of God, the Wind upon the waters, the Breath of God, the Word is still very active in our world moving us forward. We are warned that the times may become difficult or desperate even. We may not understand the meaning of what is happening around us. But, we must continually trust that God is still actively involved in our lives and accomplishing his plans in our lives and in the world. His voice continues to echo from the very beginning, from the time before time to us this very day, “Let there be light”.
The Spirit whispers and sometimes the Spirit bursts forth upon us. I’ve experienced both. However you experience the Spirit, may you receive him into your hearts with hope, love, peace, and joy! For those who believe and are born of the Spirit, we are the children of God!
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God. John 1:10-13
Cover the Earth – Kari Jobe & Cody Carnes
Disciples’ Generous Response
We are thankful for the gift of daily water to satisfy our thirst and refresh our lives.
During the Disciples’ Generous Response we focus on aligning our purposes with God’s purposes, aligning our heart with God’s heart. When you share your mission tithes, or if you give regularly through eTithing, use this time to express gratitude for God’s many gifts in your life and to reflect on how we respond faithfully to those blessings.
Prayer for Peace
Our prayer for peace today is for the earth.
God of the Wind and the Water, voice resounding over the waters, wind rippling over the seas: teach us how to create peace in our world and live in peace with creation. We respond to Holy Spirit as a fellowship, a Community of Christ that seeks to uphold and honor the sacredness of creation. Help us to know this Earth as your blessed creation and honor our calling to live peacefully with the Earth. Forgive us when we falter in ways of pollution and misuse of resources. Guide us in learning new ways of living that preserve, protect and defend sacred creation. Inspire us to become a voice for peace with God’s creation as advocates for environmental protection. Show us the way forward in wisdom, even as we pray in the way of Jesus. Amen.
The Peace of the Earth – John L. Bell
This service was prepared by Wendy and Cliff Danville.