Today's lectionary reading: Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22; Genesis 9:8-17; Ephesians 1:3-6
Passage selected for reflection: Genesis 9:8-17 (NIV)
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”
In the past few weeks, my 1-year old son has been particularly frustrated during reading time. He doesn’t understand that the object in his books aren’t real. When we read together, he will try to grab things he likes, such as a car or a balloon, because he wants to pick them out of the book to play with them. He has been especially interested in rainbows recently because there is a rainbow in a favorite bedtime story about a country farm. When he reaches out to grab the rainbow on the page, arched over the farm landscape, he looks up at me pathetically and whimpers because wants so badly to cradle it in his little hand.
It was exactly a year ago to the day that my life was abruptly put at a standstill here in Chicago by the COVID19 pandemic. As someone who works in healthcare, it has been a long and scary season of doing our work while waiting and hoping. Waiting and hoping. Each day we face challenges from the destruction and loss of lives of the patients we serve in disadvantaged communities. During these long days, I have searched many times for God and God’s promise. I have wanted to feel assured that we will make it through this time. I want to trust that God has not forsaken us, and that God will bring renewal to this land again.
As I read about God’s covenant to Noah symbolized in the rainbow, I find myself longing for that symbol of hope, safety, and protection. I confess that like my son, I too, feel the disappointment of not being able to hold that promise in my hands. I want to tangibly see and feel that guarantee of safety. And somedays I want to wail like my son does in frustration and look up at my parent for answers. Why?
It is a practice for me every morning to remind myself that even when I can’t feel God’s promise of hope, that it is there. In my darkest days of waiting for the pandemic to end, I have known deep down that God’s love endures forever. The promise is there, even when I cannot hold it in my hands. In this day and every day, I work at trusting that redemption is on the way for Gods people.
Have you tried to reach out recently to feel and know God’s promise to you?
Lent is a time of keeping our promises. What promises to others do you need to fulfill today?
What restores your sense of hope? Go and do that thing that renews you with Gods promise and hope.
Lord God, thank you for your faithfulness and enduring love. I pray for patience and wisdom beyond what my eyes can see. I pray for peace within my heart and peace for all of God’s people. Amen.
About the Author
Leana Lopez is a licensed clinical social worker and healthcare administrator working with the Medicaid population in Chicago. She has been supporting social service agencies and healthcare organizations in Chicago for over 15 years. Leana provides clinical supervision, training, and consultation.