Year B: First Sunday of Lent

First Reading: Genesis 9: 8-15

 

The theme of the Covenant between God and humanity is an abiding theme of the Old Testament.

 

It is an equally abiding theme that humanity got bored with it - turned away from it - decided that humans knew better - and consequently ended up with problems.

 

A Great Flood is recorded in many stories in ancient civilisations around the Mediterranean and so is probably based on a real event that rooted itself in folk-memory and eventually became a myth. for the Jewish people, it was interpreted as a sign of Godís displeasure with the way things were working out with His human creatures. The Flood would rid the world of sin.

 

But Godís love for His creatures ensured that one family survived and God entered into a covenant with them - a covenant that said that this Great Flood would be the last. As testimony to His promise, God caused a rainbow to appear and said that every time it appeared He and his people were to remember that promise.

 

It is a beautiful image - and, indeed, we never grow out of admiring rainbows. There is something very special in the appearance of the rainbow against the dark rain clouds - a sign that the sun can play with rain-drops and transform them into an arch of colour.

 

We know the legend about the treasure that lies at the end of a rainbow - but perhaps a greater treasure could lie in standing and gazing at it - and seeing it as a reminder of Godís love for humanity and His enduring covenant with them.

 

What does it mean for me?

You may be lucky to see a rainbow this week - but you will more likely be relying on memory!

Take yourself back to a time when sun and rain have combined to make a rainbow... to the realisation that there must be a rainbow visible somewhere - to the search for it - and to seeing it and admiring it... to that moment of wonder that something so improbable should hang in the skies...

Remember God's Covenant.

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