“When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” (Genesis 9:16)
The rains came. The waters rose. The ark floated. The sun appeared. The dove flew. The ark landed. Noah worshiped.
The rainbow appeared.
The story of Noah’s Ark is well known and familiar to us. I imagine the flood as a massive time-out for humanity. God the Parent had had enough. As an educator, whenever time-out is used, the general rule of thumb has always been one minute for each year of life. So a three-year-old, for example, would sit in time-out for three minutes.
This summer I will be one of the keynote speakers at Lake Junaluska in the mountains of North Carolina. Every summer they have a series of youth retreats. I will be there on July 10-13, 2020. You can learn more about the event by clicking here.
“You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.” (James 1:19-20, NRSV)
In a 2007 episode of the medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, Dr. Miranda Bailey, the African-American chief of surgery, is faced with a challenging case. Not because the surgical needs of the patient are a medical mystery. But because the patient is a Neo-Nazi, and does not want any African-American person touching him.
TV medical dramas being what they are, the patient’s condition becomes so dire, that Dr. Bailey is the only surgeon who can do the most good. She easily could employ the same anger the patient showed her. Instead, realizes that if she responds out of anger, she will be no better than her patient. Dr. Bailey tells the medical staff, “We will rise above.”
“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.” (1 John 4:8, ESV)
I can still remember being a kid sitting in a wooden chair in Sunday school putting together a papercraft with the words, “God is Love” pasted across the bottom. In the midst of the broken crayons and chunks of dried glue, that simple phrase settled in my heart and mind.
When I got older, I would attend the church’s confirmation and youth group. It was through these experiences that I began to learn how much more complex the reality of one living and true God is.
“I believe,” the opening statement of the Apostles’ Creed says, “in God, the Father, the Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”
“You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.” (Matthew 5:7, The Message)
My grandparents have always been formative to my faith. They would take in and care for sick friends, family, or church members. Meals would be prepared and made before being taken to someone who just got home from the hospital. They would regularly visit neighbors who were homebound. And it was no surprise to anyone when they invited someone who was not able to be with their family at Christmas to our family Christmas breakfast. And the list could easily go on.
They have always been full of care for others.