Scripture: Genesis 9:12-13 (NRSV)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.
Reflection:Things are looking up! The flood waters have receded, fresh air has filled the ark (thank God) and every creature from egrets to elephants to those shaky relatives on two legs are given the sign of God's eternal promise.
Whether you envision a bow of peace pointed into the clouds or a rainbow lighting up a gray, February sky, God speaks of new beginnings. As Noah learned, ours is a God who promises relationship, restoration and a love that will never let us go. The poet Christian Wiman puts it this way, “God goes, belonging to every riven thing he’s made.”
Entering the Lenten season together, we’d do well to remember God’s covenant of belonging. When I was a kid, I tried giving up chocolate for Lent. Usually, I was only successful at piling up the candy wrappers under my bed with the dust bunnies.
A few years ago, Pope Francis suggested folks give up indifference; to seek humility in our own dust and reconnect to the vulnerability and humanity of Jesus seen in our neighbor sleeping on the corner. It’s time.
Prayer:Whatever habit of the heart we choose this Lent, may we know, come hell or highwater, your covenant of love is meant for ALL of us. Amen.
The Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is pastor of First Church of Christ, Congregational in East Haddam, CT.
The Rev. Laura Fitzpatrick-Nager is the Associate Pastor at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.
February 14, 2018