This month the people of St. Peter’s presented the story of Noah in song, dance, and spoken word.
We worked hard on presenting a great production, but even more importantly, we learned about the story of Noah and the flood and what it means for us today.
The flood story is really one of a covenant between God and humankind. God sees that creation has deviated from that which is “very good” and decides to start over with the people of Noah’s family. Having made land after the flood, Noah and his family see that God has placed a rainbow in the sky as a sign of the everlasting covenant from God: God will not destroy the earth with a flood again.
“Throughout Lent, we often get stories that relate to covenants God has made. This year we hear of the promised Land in Deuteronomy, the promise of descendants and land to Abram, the promise of a water for all who thirst spiritually in Isaiah, and the eating of the Passover in the promised land in Joshua. In worship during Lent this year we are reminded that God’s covenants are “sure”, “true”, and are “words we can count on” to quote the words of John Folkening in Noah’s RemARKable Voyage.
And really, isn’t the story of Noah just a great big baptism story? The people are sinful. The people are covered with enough water to drown sin. A new creation rises from the waters of the flood. God saves humankind. When we are baptized, our sin is taken away and God redeems us. Of course, as Pastor Sarah likes to remind us, confession is good for the soul; however, when we confess, we do so knowing that God has already forgiven us in baptism. After all, we proclaim in the words of the Nicene Creed, “we proclaim one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.”
In a turn that is perhaps in the most amazing, all of these covenants are magnified when viewed in light of Christ’s life and death on the cross. Every time we hear of the covenants God made with humankind we are reminded that God’s has worked salvation time and time again and ultimately through Jesus’ victory on the cross.
As Lent begins, take some time to sing and give thanks to God for constancy, trustworthiness, and compassion demonstrated by God’s love for all. Remember that “as children of the promise, a rainbow is our clue. The Lamb, the Tree, our victory. God’s promises come true.”