Scripture: Genesis 8:16-12, 9:8-17
What a couple of joyful passages we find here in Genesis. Sure, they come as the result of something terrible, a flood that destroys all life on earth apart from Noah, his family, and the animals he has on the Ark. But in that first reading, chapter 8, verses 6-12, I can just picture myself in Noah’s shoes, so sick and tired of being stuck on a boat, so weary of not knowing when he and his family would be able to set foot on solid ground again, and probably pretty sick of all of the animal smells! And he thinks, “I’m going to send out this dove and find out what’s going on.” The first time it comes back empty beaked. The second time it comes back with an olive branch in its beak. And the third time, oh the third time is the best! The dove doesn’t come back at all. Noah must have been ecstatic! There is a place for that dove to go, to live to make a home, to settle. That must mean Noah could find that, too.
In this second reading we see God establishing a covenant with Noah. But what I think is pretty striking is that God establishes this covenant with all living creatures. God is making it clear that He cares about all life on earth. If it wasn't clear enough through the creation accounts in Genesis 1 & 2, it sure is now… life is precious. There is something here that resonates with the new covenant established in Jesus Christ. Jesus continues to fulfil this truth, that all life is precious.
As we give thanks for the covenant God established with Noah and all of creation with the sign of the rainbow, we, in this season of Lent, can also give thanks for the work of Jesus on the Cross and the new covenant that was established between creation and God through Jesus’ death and resurrection. What a blessing it is to know how much God loves us.
~Eric Hedberg, Emmanuel ECC, Surrey, BC