“Then God said to Noah, ‘Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.'” (Genesis 8:15-16, NRSV)
For forty days and forty nights Noah and his family, along with an ark full of animals, floated. Finally, the rains stopped and the waters receded. And then, God said to Noah, “Go.”
“Go out of the ark.”
They had gone into the ark to seek shelter from the coming storm. They had gone in obedience to the word of God. But once the waters receded, it was time to go out.
They had been inside long enough.
Too often we choose to stay inside the ark. Read “church” or “comfort zone” or “pew.” And it’s comfortable in our arks. It is safe and familiar. We know what to expect inside our ark.
Maybe we got there because we were obedient to the word of God. But, God’s call is not once and done. God is continuously calling us and the Church to go.
The outside world, however, is filled with too many unknowns. In life and ministry alike, we choose the ark over going out. Yet, God called us to “Go out of the ark.” For it is only in stepping out that we grow as disciples. It is in stepping out that we know what is outside the ark and what new life awaits us. And it is in stepping out that we see who and what God has in store for us.
So, do we choose the security of our familiar and favorite ark (pew), or do we step out in faith to see what the new day awaits?