Great Vigil of Easter – Genesis 1:1-2:4a
‘In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth.’ (Genesis 1:1; NRSV)
This is the night of the Great Easter Vigil, this service usually begins at dusk with a great fire and this reading from Genesis is the first of eleven or twelve readings starting with creation and ending with the risen Lord feeding the disciples by the sea in the early morning. They include the story of the great flood, the captivity in Egypt, the rescue and wandering in the wilderness, the valley of the dry bones from Ezekiel, the story of Jonah, the fiery furnace and others. So many it was hard to pick only one but by choosing the first reading we can understand why the others happened. God loved and created the world. All the stories of the Great Easter Vigil tell of how much God loved and cared as the people wandered away. God’s love has been enduring through all the stories and God’s love began at creation and continues to us today. We know this because we read of God’s love in the Bible and what was true for the first readers is true for us. God created and God loves humankind and the world.
Eternal giver of life and light, this holy night shines with the radiance of the risen Christ. Renew your church with the Spirit given us in baptism, that we may worship you in sincerity and truth and may shine as a light in the world, through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Pastor Roxie Sullivan, First Presbyterian Church (Hiawatha, KS) and First Presbyterian Church (Falls City, NE)