The Formless Void
1 In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, 2 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.
Genesis 1:1-2 NRSV
-Rev Melissa Fain-
(The plan, from here on out, is for meditations to relate to our live experience. Reading a meditation should enhance what happens Saturday at 2pm.)
If you asked kid me what the scariest movie out there was, she would be thinking Critters. She'd only think it, because it was one of those movies she wasn't supposed to have seen, but did. She would say The Neverending Story. The idea of nothing frightened young me. I can still recall how terrified I was at the rockeater's speech.
The rocks were there, then they were nothing. Wasn't there a hole, someone asks. No, he answers. A hole is something. This was nothing.
Just trying to wrap my head around this idea scared me to my core.
At the same time, I loved the movie. Bastion names the Childlike Empress at the end of the movie and brings everything back... or does he?
When I was in high school, I checked out the book from the library. It was a German novel by Michael Ende. (Translated into English. Don't any of you think I'm a German scholar.) At the time I enjoyed reading books after I saw their movie adaptations. I liked to imagine the characters had the faces I saw on screen while those same characters often did very different things than what their movie counterparts did. This gateway reading transformed me into the bookworm I am today. Anyway, imagine my amazement when the first half of the book is relatively where the first movie concludes! Yeah, the second movie kinda picks up where the first movie left off, and the third movie is the nasty leftovers no one wants to see, but I assumed the first movie was the story of the book.
All this to get to the question I posed above: Did Bastion bring everything back?
Um, kinda? Yes, he does bring back Falkor, and Atreyu, but he also creates new fantastic worlds. The silver city in the second movie was a new world of his creation. There are oceans and deserts that exist because he created them. Consider this: Before the "Nothing" came, there was no room for his imagination. The "Nothing" made room for the recreation that happens every time someone takes ink to paper.
I guess it gets to the broader point. Who is the author of Fig Tree Christian? Yeah, I guess in a small part it's me. I've been at this for years, and continue to strive to be ministerial in my endeavors. In a small part it's the congregants, some of whom have been around for a few years now. The real answer is God.
When God creates, it's from the void; the nothing. Perhaps we have our fancy notions of what it means to be in God's presence, when God just want presence. We need to put aside our desires and wants to allow God's desires and wants to flourish. We are about to start something daunting. We are going to empty ourselves out, and come to God with nothing. That's scary. I get it. If you trust me, this will be amazing, If we come with nothing, we will leave with a recreation of God's choosing. What does that look like? I have no earthly idea! That's part of the excitement. The point is, before we can begin, we must first let go.
More on that on Saturday.
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