Vicar Matt Doebler
Matins Devotion: February 28, 2023
At the beginning of Genesis, we’re told that the Earth is without form and void and that the Spirit of God is hovering over the face of the waters. Soon after this, God gathers the waters into one place and separates them from the dry land—it is from this very dry land that God will—on the final day of creation—form the man from the dust and breathe into his nostrils the breath of life.
Therefore, it’s interesting to note what happens following God’s judgement of mankind’s sin in the Great Flood. Here we see that the Earth is, once again, formless. An endless expanse of water with no dry ground. So what does God do? Well, once again he sets about driving back the water. God sends a wind—and the idea is that this wind is crisscrossing over the entire earth—forcing the water to retreat—revealing dry land—creating a place where life can thrive.
Wind and water…life and new creation.
Perhaps this is what Peter was reflecting upon as he wrote “Baptism, which corresponds to [the way God saved Noah and his family], now saves you.” In the flood of baptism your old man is drowned. Nothing is left. That is, until God sends forth the wind of his Holy Spirit to drive back the waters so that he can bring forth a new man—so that he can breathe his life-giving Spirit into you—so that he can place you on the dry ground of his Church—which is built on the Rock of Christ—a rock that will never be moved or shaken—a Rock where you will be kept safe until the day when the waters subside—and the sea is no more. (Rev. 21:1)