We breakfast in the morning. We can choose whether to eat the same thing as we had yesterday and the day before, or we can opt for novelty. During one season in their history, the wanderers in the wilderness were told not to rely on yesterday’s manna, but to discard what was certain to decompose, and seek out a fresh portion.
Some new friends gathered for prayer today, and as we spent our allotted time together, we began to wonder whether we would return to yesterday’s thinking- even about the good things we had been fed. That was a good meal. It was a pleasure to share, and we rejoice in the fruitfulness that came from it.
But today is to be a New Day. In each new yom Day in Genesis 1, the English says, “And God said…” As the first week proceeds, each day is in continuity with the one that went before, yet it is different. ‘And’ adds a subtlety: connection and reconsideration. Deliberation and strategic consideration. ‘And…?’ The first three days are frames, formed in structure and yet preserving a clear void within. In the latter three days, God brings in stages a distinctive fullness to the framework he had laid out. We perceive, from our human perspective, an emergent holism in the developing world that God makes day by day. Each day adds newness and diversity. Most of all, we perceive the interconnected soundness of the world that is forming before our wondering gaze. What was ‘good’ yesterday can therefore become part of something ‘very good’ today or tomorrow.
The poetic pattern of Genesis 1 does not deny that we can maintain a disciplined rhythm in our life ways, but equally, to be poetic, the ways we tread today should aspire to fresh breathing of creativity- and certainly some genuine novelty. As we dance to the song for another verse, add a kick here or a twirl there- or turn a different way! Today is to be different. “And God saw that it was good.”
(c) Stephen Thompson 2020