Friday , Feb 24th
Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17
8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, 10and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark.* 11I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ 12God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16When 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.’ 17God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’
Growing up, rainbows enchanted me. In fact, my mother still teases about how all my childhood drawings featured rainbows. While I imagine that most five-year-old girls have a liking for rainbows, they held a sort of mystery for me. I went through a period where if anyone asked for my favorite color I would respond with- white! But that isn’t a color! I would hear in return. I had learned that sunlight is white light composed of all the colors in the spectrum. The rainbow is proof of that idea. Atmospheric conditions at the end of a rainstorm bend the existent light rays and create what the eye perceives as a rainbow. In science class, we would demonstrate this idea using a prism, which similarly bends light splitting the light into seeable colors. As a child, I could not pick a favorite color so I picked all of them! The color white in my mind had great potential.
I think that there is a similar potential in the covenant that God makes with Noah and by extension all of the earth in this passage. There is a strong tradition of covenants in the Old Testament. We see God continually renewing his covnant, his promise to his chosen people, to everything on earth through Abraham, Noah, Jacob and others. What does this covenant mean? What is God promising?
God reminds us that we are covenant people, people graced with potential, people claimed and called into a unique relationship. Through history, God ceaselessly pursues us, reminding us of the covenant, calling us into friendship and mutual desire- back into a right relationship with God. We are reminded of the special relationship we have with the creator of the universe. How do we respond to this compassion, this love from a God who proclaims through a rainbow a covenant with creation? That colorful bow in the sky has great potential. All of creation has potential and best of all we each have been formed with great potential. Let us use our potential this season of Lent to come closer to God, closer in relationship with the Divine Love of the universe. Potential is everywhere. What are we going to do with it?
God, sender of the rain, and source of all true light, we thank you for the covenant with which you have claimed us. Thank you for the rainbow after the storm a reminder of your grace and everlasting love. Help us during this time of Lent to respond to your covenant and come into a deeper relationship with you. Help us see the potential in the world around us and show us how to claim our potential as your creation. Amen
By Brenda Kostner