Do Re Mi

This one's for those of you who have ever watched a musical and wondered what it would look like if people were to spontaneously burst into song and dance, "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" style, in real life.  There are some theological musings below the video, but don't feel like it's necessary to read them.  Maybe you just need to watch and enjoy.  Am I the only one who finds it impossible to watch this video without grinning, even after viewing several times? In fact, I would be ashamed to admit it if it weren't for so many other people saying the same thing in the comment section on youtube, but I even get a little teary eyed.

So this whole thing got me to thinking about Genesis, more specifically the creation account in Genesis 1-3.  We're told that, "in the beginning" the earth is "formless and empty".  The picture we're supposed to get is of absolute chaos.  The world is not a safe place for anyone.

And then God speaks into the chaos and the result is order.  God separates things (water from land, darkness from light, etc.) in order to create a safe place for his creation to exist.  And he does all of this so that He can exist in relationship to his creation.

As I've said before, the point of the creation story is that creation is good.  It is not an accident.  God takes meaninglessness and provides meaning.  He takes lifelessness and creates life.  Before creation we would be as safe in this world as we would be on the surface of Mars.  After creation, we have a home.

The same thing happens in this train station in Belgium.  One way to look at it is to say that, in the beginning, the station is formless.  People going from here to there, lost in their own little lives, unaware of the others who are around them.  From above, the station seems chaotic.

And then, seemingly from out of nowhere, there is a voice.  And suddenly two people respond to the voice.   And they're no longer moving on their own.  Which is to say that they are moving with each other and they are moving under the direction of something that is bigger than they are.

And from there, more people are drawn into this act of creation.  The chaos disappears; the dance envelopes everyone.  People cannot remain isolated.  Some try to join the dance; others do a dance of their own.  But no one in the train station remains isolated.  Order comes from chaos.

Finally, a connection can be made between chaos and the effects of sin.  We tend to think about sin in terms of guilt.  We stand condemned to die because we have run afoul of the judge.  Grace comes along and pronounces us innocent.

That's true, but it's only part of the picture.  The other part is that sin creates chaos.  It wrecks our lives, it wrecks the lives of those around us.  It isolates us from one another.  But grace has the opposite effect.  It brings order.  It brings us from isolation into community.  Think about it.  When you experience God's grace do you not feel like things are suddenly clearer, less chaotic?  With God's grace life is a safer place to be.  Not only because it brings us forgiveness, also because it transforms us.  I think this isn't far from the meaning for the Hebrew word Shalom.

Psalm 40

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.