We use the language of fullness and emptiness regularly—our lives are so full, our tanks sometimes run empty; our hearts or bellies or schedules are full; our souls or our spaces or our pockets can feel far too empty. And we can sometimes place value judgments on these experiences of fullness and emptiness. Fullness is often thought of as a good, while emptiness is something to generally avoid. A hungry belly should be filled. An empty gas tank. A longing heart. But despite how we think or feel about them, we all experiences times of fullness and emptiness in various ways in our lives and our faith. And it can be helpful to look at how we respond to those places—and at how God does. The very first verses of Scripture describe an emptiness we can’t even imagine: “the earth was formless and empty, and darkness was over the surface of the deep.” The picture of such a vast emptiness can evoke feelings like terror or despair. We may avoid thinking about the empty places for this reason. And yet, the very next phrase of the second verse of the Bible is: “and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. That place that seemed empty and barren, in fact was not: God was there, attending to it, about to birth new life in it all. What are the places you are feeling empty or full right now? Which do you prefer, experientially? If you are in a season of emptying—or of having-been-emptied—what is it like to think of that emptiness, too, as a space where God’s Spirit is hovering, attending, intending life? Or, if things feel *too* full in some way, how is God present to you in that, too? What invitation are you sensing as we enter into this week of fullness and emptiness?
Posted by Jamie Bonilla at 2023-08-14 13:30:00 UTC