Hovering Over the Waters

“…although no mention is made of the Spirit except in the history of the creation of the universe nevertheless the Spirit is introduced here not as a shadow but as the essential power of God when Moses tells that the as yet formless mass was itself sustained in Him (Gen. 1:2).  Therefore it then has become clear that the eternal Spirit had always been in God while with tender care He supported the confused matter of heaven and earth, until beauty and order were added.”- John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion (1559)

When the Spirit of God is at work, one of the primary evidences of His presence will be order and beauty.  We see this in creation, as Calvin rightly asserts, when the Spirit exerted His power through the word of the Son and the will of the Father to bring this about.

We will also see this in those who have been born again by the Spirit of God.  Sin always moves along the path of disorder and a distortion of true beauty.  Sometimes the journey is slow and subtle; other times it is quick and destructive.  However, when God redeems a life through regeneration and faith, the Spirit, who now takes up residence within the new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), begins to create order out of chaos and beauty out of sin’s disfigurement.  Our lives should be moving ever onward toward greater order and deeper beauty.

Finally, we see this power at work in the Church, the bride of Christ.  The Spirit of Christ is working within the covenant people of God to bring them and everything around them into an ever-expanding kingdom of order and beauty.  Order is established as people and nations come under the rule of Christ.  Beauty is cultivated as those same people and nations are conformed to the image of Christ.  From Him alone flow true order (dominion) and true beauty (glory).  And it is the Holy Spirit who hovers over the waters of our hearts, our homes, and the Church sustaining and growing God’s new creation even as He has done from the very beginning of time.


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