Posts Tagged ‘Noah’

Zechariah 10The New Order

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Written on February 17 and posted today as a Favorite . . .

The Golden Calf – Exodus

The teraphim are household idols, used for divination but incapable of true healing, redemption, comfort or transformation.  Those who have relied on wealth and influence will no longer hold power; change is in the wind.  Those who have been led by false shepherds will be visited by the true king; a rout by a new king’s soldiers is predicted.  Those who have wandered aimlessly, searching for the true shepherd will be brought back; the exiled will return home; the faithful will be rewarded.

In the Old Testament readings at Mass this week we hear again the story of Noah.  God sees how wicked man has become and he regrets having created him.  Later he promises to never destroy his creatures again.  In the New Testament readings we have seen the supreme patience of Jesus as he continually instructs his followers in the ways of the New Kingdom, the New Covenant, and the New Promise.  There is a New Order . . . yet they struggle to understand.  He even rebukes Peter (Mark 8:27-33) and scolds the others for not understanding his feeding of thousands from a few fish and loaves (Mark 8:14-21).  These humans God has created seem to believe more in their teraphim than in their God.  And we are so like all of these people.

So we pray . . .

Lord God in heaven, Lord God on earth, Lord God within us, Lord God among us, open our eyes that we might see your new order as you opened the eyes of the blind beggar in yesterday’s Gospel (Mark 8:22-26).  Open our minds and hearts so that we might better hear your call to newness.  Open our lives to you so that we might better understand the new order of your world.  Teach us to cease lusting after money and goods.  Instruct us in your new way.  School us in the ways of the gentle heart and eager mind.  Remind us to throw out our tiny household gods and rely firmly and only on you.  Visit us with your Spirit.  Continue to walk with us as Christ.  And harbor us who wander as wretched sheep in the safety of your enormous arms.  We ask this each day and every day . . . as we strive to remember who you are . . . and how much you love us.  Amen. 

A re-post from September 6, 2011.

Image from: http://www.perplexicon.net/2009/12/false-gods-and-theologians/

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Genesis 8:13: Behold the Renewal


Noah Scenes (1250) illumination from the Morgan Library Biblical Picture Book Courtesy Pierpont Morgan Library, New York

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

In this final week of Advent, let us decide to make our hopes tangible, our dreams a prayer for our reality, our faith unwavering and our love secure. Let us cleave to the Creator, follow the Redeemer and rest in the Spirit. This week let us give one another the gift of preparing for the very real promise of eternity.

The Creator is always tending to our lives in small and great ways.

The dove came to him toward evening, and behold, in her beak was a freshly picked olive leaf. So Noah knew that the water was abated from the earth. (NASB)

The Spirit is constantly abiding with us to heal and renew.

When Noah was 601 years old, on the first day of the first month, the water was gone. Noah removed the covering of the boat, looked around, and saw that the ground was getting dry. (GNT)

The hope of Christ lives in us from the beginning of time.

By the first day of the first month of the 601st year the water had dried up from off the earth; so Noach removed the covering of the ark and looked; and, yes, the surface of the ground was dry. (CJB)

God reassures us that we are never abandoned or alone.

In the six-hundred-first year of Noah’s life, on the first day of the first month, the flood had dried up. Noah opened the hatch of the ship and saw dry ground. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month, the Earth was completely dry. (MSG)

Behold, God brings life and rebirth to each of us, forever.

When we reflect on varying translations of the Noah story, we find assurance that we are never alone.

For more information on the Morgan Bible, click on the image above or visit: http://richardmcbee.com/writings/jewish-art-before-1945/item/noah-the-dove-and-the-raven

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Luke 17:26-37: The Days of Noah

Friday, November 18, 2016

Edward Hicks: Noah's Ark

Edward Hicks: Noah’s Ark

As a child, I was fascinated by the story of Noah. It presented images that both frightened and inspired; and I remember the fear I felt contrasted with my mother’s voice as she calmly read out the story to me. She sat on the side of my bed. I huddled under the blankets, grateful for her presence, dreading the outcome for those who scoffed at the idea of a great flood, knowing that I too, ignored many warnings sent to me.

As an adult, I am washed by love-dread emotions when reading the story. Perhaps the vivid pictures in my story book of drowning people banging against the side of the ark, pleading to be let in, still haunt me. As an adult, Jesus’ words today recall all the times I have thought I know the future better, all the times I thought I understood the past more deeply, and all the times I have lived my present without fully understanding myself and my surroundings. I think of our recent election in the U.S. and I wonder . . . who among us has taken heed of the prophecies . . . and who has not? Am I riding in the ark of Christ wondering if I have made the right decision? Or am I hammering at the side of the ship?

Jesus says: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

Where am I in this story? Who has built the ark and how large is it? What other life does it carry? Does my name appear on the manifest?

Jesus says: Whoever seeks to preserve his life will lose it, but whoever loses it will save it.

What does this inversion mean for me today? How am I to enact this teaching in my life? How do I best demonstrate my love for God? Do I accurately reflect God’s image in a troubled world?

Jesus says: On that night, there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left.

Those who read scripture from a fundamental perspective preach the rapture, a time when the chosen are taken into heaven while the condemned are left behind. There are days and nights when I almost believe this notion, but then I remember how Jesus leaves the ninety-nine to find the one who is lost. I remember the stories of the prodigal son and his forgiving father, the woman at the well and the compassionate Jesus. I remember my mother sitting on my bed to read out the dreadful but lovely words of Noah and his family shutting themselves and the animal kingdom – two by two – into the ark to wait for another beginning.

Jesus says: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be in the days of the Son of Man; they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage up to the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.

What are we to make of this story? How does it play out in our lives today? How different are we in 2016 from those who peopled the planet in the days of Noah? And how does this knowledge change the way we act as we go out into the world for a new beginning each day?

For the story of Noah, read Genesis 7-9.

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Monday, February 2, 2015water

Ezekiel 47

Healing Waters

Water can either drown or save, flood or quench. Mariners study charts of tidal patterns in order to make port or set sail at propitious times. Enormous damns force water into sluice ways, churning over mighty dynamos that produce electricity to power society. Creeks, rivers and bays move headlong to oceans while quiet backwaters and bayous create safe harbors for fish and fowl. Water gathers itself in small and large lakes; water roils little and big seas; salt water meets fresh as worlds and habitats collide. Water: the essential element for life, the basic building block of the human body, the curse and cure of humankind.

When we remember the story of the flood that overcame Noah’s world and John’s recounting of Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, we witness water’s dichotomy. In chapter 47 of his prophecy, Ezekiel describes wading into the Wonderful Stream until it becomes a river that could not be crossed except by swimming (Ezekiel 47:5) This stream is the home of every sort of living creature that can multiply. This river does not destroy but instead nourishes every kind of tree whose fresh fruit serves as food and whose leaves heal and medicate; fishermen spread wide nets to haul in the bounty that feeds and sustains. This restorative stream nourishes the land and all those who live nearby, bringing fresh life and new beginnings . . . just as Christ nourishes and feeds each of us.

Mineral springs and mud flats have for centuries served humankind as a curative for physical ailments. When a crippled man cannot move quickly enough to enter the pool in Bethesda, Jesus heals him – and so Christ becomes the healing water this man so eagerly seeks. (John 5:1-15).

Each of us might look for our own Sheep Gate and Siloam Pool to wait on the life-giving presence of Christ. Each of us might embrace Ezekiel’s vision of waters that heal. As we go through our afternoon and evening, let us consider where and how we find the cleansing we need to survive. Let us consider who and why we follow as we wade into the healing waters of peace.

big thirstIn his book THE BIG THIRST: THE SECRET LIFE AND TURBULENT FUTURE OF WATER, Charles Fishman tells us the story of our obsession with and neglect of this most important resource. He points out that civilizations will rise and fall with their ability to manage water. And he reminds us that this valuable resource must be preserved and used well if we hope to move into the future. To learn more, visit: http://www.thebigthirst.com/the-book/


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