‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and 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. I 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.’ God 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: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I 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. 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.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’ Reflection by Janet Derby There are some great images in the story of Noah, such as the animals in pairs being led to safety, if you do not stop to consider what happens to all those who do not get to go on the ark. I am sure there were also some ugly scenes inside a boat full of wild creatures. Best of all though, must be the sign of the rainbow. The beauty of the sun shining at the end of a storm and producing the array of colors is an amazing sight to behold.
A few years ago, a friend had a scary bout with cancer. Janice took every rainbow she saw during that time as a sign of hope. Fortunately, after many months of treatment, she was pronounced in full remission. To celebrate, her older children gathered pieces of fabric of all the colors of the rainbow from all her friends and family. They put the garland together on Christmas Eve and after everyone had gone to bed, hung it up in the hallway outside of their parents' bedroom so it was the first thing Janice would see when she left her room in the morning. It was a beautiful symbol of how people of all kinds come together to bring light and hope during our dark times.
Prayer: God of Many Colors, Thank you for the covenant of protection promised to us through Noah. Thank you also for all those who support us in times of need and difficulty. Help us to see the hope and believe in your promise even in the darkest of situations. Amen.