Genesis 9: 8-17
In today’s passage, it was awful when we imagine the wet chaos below, where the rest of creation was perishing. The result was so devastating that God promised never to will such a thing again.
As a sign of the covenant, God set a rainbow in the clouds—not to recall Noah’s memory but to recall God’s own.
When we read the sacred stories in the Bible, we see the history of God’s promises to humankind—the promise of peace to Noah, the promise of a land and a nation to Abraham and Sarah, the promise of the law to Moses, the promise of a son to Mary, and the promise of Jesus’ return. They all are the same promise, at heart, in terms of founding the promise of intimate relationship between God and humans.
“Covenant” is the Bible’s word for this mysterious and strong relationship. Established by God in creation, the covenant has survived floods and famines, the chaotic war and turmoil, and the rising and falling of empires.
Just because there are no conditions in Noah’s covenant does not mean that we are merely free passengers in the ark. We are creatures made in the image of our creator, after all, which makes us co-partners in God’s plan.
In our own time, the ark does not look so much like a huge barn floating on a choppy sea.
Some people may imagine the ark as a specific place or nation. Or some people may think that they are gatekeepers on the ark by examining who has a ticket and who does not.
Can we imagine the ark in our own time as a blue green and huge ball floating on the dark ocean of space? Yes, the Earth we are living in now can be the ark.
All of us have a place in that ark—not because we, like Noah and his crew, are all that righteous but because God who has been faithful still keeps the covenant, the promise of intimate relationship between God and all living creatures.
We are partners in God’s plan. So, we are lovers of life, which means that we too are wounded by the brokenness we see around us on this ark we call Earth, the brokenness in which we ourselves participate.
It is still raining, we see. The story of Noah is not over yet but those of us who have heard it before have a distinct advantage over those who have not; it is not for boasting, but for calling to become co-workers in God’s mission because we know something about
how it turns out in the end.