Rhythm and Creation

And there was evening, and there was morning. The first day.

From the opening passages of the Bible, with the account of the creation of the cosmos, immediately we hear the rhythm of the story. The rhythmic undulations of the poetry of the passage may be lost to us in translation, but a rhythm more usually exploited by Hebrew writers than strict metric patterns – the rhythm of repetition, and of contrasting imagery – is heard loud and clear. Formless and void. Darkness and light. Day and night. Forming the dry land, forming the sea; later, filling the dry land, filling the sea. Balance. Order. Rhythm.

And then – day seven. The regular thrum of this momentous poem crescendos, noisy with birdsong and bear bellows, to its climax with the creation of humanity as the pinnacle and co-regents with God over his creation – and then a breathtaking pause. Silence. Stillness. God rested – and apparently took the time to look at what he’d done and appreciate how good it was.

Rhythm. Rest. Renewal – because of course we then begin all over again, even if the narrative itself left us hanging as to what came after day seven. Restoration. Recreation (re-creation).

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