How often do we look at the rainbow and think of God’s promise to us? The rainbow has been co-opted to mean other things, but as followers of Christ, it is something that we should seek to reclaim in our witness and our lives. The rainbow is intended to be a reminder to us that God is keeping his promise because as we read in Genesis (9:8-17), God created the rainbow as a reminder for him (as if God honestly would need a reminder) that he would never again wipe out all flesh through a flood. I could not imagine what it had to have been like for Noah and his family, particularly in those first days. I am sure that the cries for help could be heard from those that were outside of the Ark as the waters rose and covered all the earth. The deep sadness that each of them had to have felt like the great flood consumed family and friends. If we were to look at the flannelgraphs of the account of Noah and the Ark we might have an image of the oversized Noahs Arkbathtime boat that has all the animals loaded into overflowing. The image promotes a concept that helps to undermine the reality of the flood as a worldwide flood and how the various kinds of land and air animals were given refuge to ensure that life would continue on the earth. Again we are in a time that does not acknowledge God’s ultimate providence and rejects the flood or any of the biblical accounts as myth. The flood account is ultimately an account of God’s providence and His love for us, and the account of God’s creation of the rainbow is an affirmation of God’s true love and the keeping of His promise to us. God did not need to save Noah, his wife, son’s, and their wives along with a pair of each animal clean and unclean (seven pairs for those sacrificial animals). God did not need to save any of them, He created them all and to recreate was not beyond His ability, but He chose to save them and, in turn, us. This is the point of it all.
Paul speaks of our need to bow down to God in the reading from Ephesians (3:14-21) in response to His love for us. It is a reminder of why it is we bow to the Lord and why it is that we worship. We do not worship to make us feel better we worship because God is worthy of our praise. We are called Christian not because of who we are, but because of who it is that we worship. It is not by our own selection or power that we can follow Christ, but it is because of Christ and the revelation given us by the Holy Spirit that frees us from the bondage that we often find ourselves in because of the fallen nature of our world. We may not understand the love of God, but we truly aren’t meant to and neither can we fully comprehend it. His love for His creation is in the fact that He seeks ways in which to preserve it.
This final reflection is shown in the Gospels. Mark 6:45-56 is another step in the continued journey of Christ in the Gospels and a show of His providence and love for all of His creation. It is immediately following the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand with two fish and five loaves. The reality of what had occurred was still not understood as we find in the reading. The disciples did not understand that God was with them. They did not realize that it was His providence that was carrying them through. Jesus had gone up to pray, and they left ahead of Him. The night waters were choppy, and they were struggling to make it over. Jesus saw them, walked on the water, and met them planning to pass them by, but they were afraid not knowing it was him they saw. We honestly can not blame them, though. How would you react to seeing a man walking on water? He calms the storm, and they arrive on the other side and dock at Gennesaret. Here Jesus continues to heal as people in need of healing are brought to Him.
Nothing is too much for God. That is what we often fail to realize. We desire to blame God for all failings and shortcomings that are ours and do not want to give Him credit for all that He does for us. When we see great miracles, we often do not recognize them. When God’s Word is placed before us, the nature of many is to reject it or explain it away. The difficulty of Christ’s love for us is that it is beyond our own understanding and is not like the love that we show one another. It is far from the standard way in which we love or what we call love. Jesus’ love is not conditional as our love tends to be. It is not dependent upon how we act or how we respond but is there for us regardless of our personal actions when we call upon him and trust in him.
Unfortunately, the wisdom of the world often clouds us from the wisdom of God. For the world, it is silly to believe that a worldwide flood occurred and two of every kind of land and air animal was rescued with eight people on a large wooden ship sealed with pitch. It is nonsense that God created the rainbow to remind Him of His promise to all creatures that He would never produce another worldwide flood to wipe out all creatures of flesh. I’m sure that many of the people at the time of the flood thought similar things of Creation as they lived further and further away from it and the length of lives that they lived. It is incredible how so many today are quick to disregard the Word of God and allegorize so much Scripture for the sake of human-made knowledge. God creating in six days is just crazy and to believe that all of Creation occurred six thousand years ago is illogical since the science is settled and shows otherwise. Christ’s love extends even to those who disbelieve the Creation account, but hearts are often hardened to God because of similar wisdom. I mean, seriously, Jesus walking on water and calming a storm with a word? It had to have been a flash freeze that allowed him to walk across and the healings were just because the people were comforted with the kind words Jesus had to offer. I would rather place my faith in the Word of God than the thoughts of men, but that is just me.