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Peace & Pieces - February 15, 2024

Many people cite Noah and the ark as a favorite Bible story from their childhood or

Sunday School days.

I loved the story of the animals being corralled onto the ark, and when I had children of my own, they loved to hear me read the story to them. My

children also inherited a cute plastic playset of the ark which had been their father’s

childhood toy. We spent lots of afternoons marching the animals up and down the ramp

into the ark and laughing at the quirky-looking plastic-robed Noah and his wife.


Now that we’re adults, we probably don’t think about this story as being for us. We hear

it read in church only two times in our three-year cycle of readings and possibly during

the Easter Vigil on which it is one option of several. It might seem odd to read about

God’s “bow in the clouds” during the solemn season of Lent with its focus on sin and

repentance.


The reality is that sin and repentance are at the heart of this story. God sends water to cover the earth because, “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and filled with violence” (Genesis 6:11). God is heartbroken that humans have failed to live up to the expectation inherent in their creation to care for one another and for all creatures and aspects of creation. The flood waters that cover the earth wash away the sin of the world, and the humans who emerge from the ark are entrusted with the responsibility of faithful living and the care of creation going forward. The waters of baptism put us in mind of the flood, the first time God used water to restore the goodness of what had gone bad. As a sign that God trusts Noah and his descendants with this awesome responsibility, God sets the rainbow in the sky. The rainbow points to God’s promise never to flood the earth again and to the covenant relationship God initiates with us. Although God knows humans will fail time and again to live up to expectations, God’s covenant reassures us of God’s never-failing faithfulness and promise to restore us to wholeness time and again with mercy, love, and grace.


I invite you to listen to the story of the rainbow on Sunday with “new ears” and reflect on

how it speaks to you in this season of repentance and restoration.


Pastor Lori+


(The entire story of Noah is found in Genesis 6 – 9. Sunday we read Genesis 9:8-17.)

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