Advent 1, Tuesday, Year A

Inspired by Genesis 9:1-17

“‘When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’  God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’”  Genesis 9:16-17 (NRSV)

As we go about the mundane tasks of our lives, looking at all the suffering and injustice that seem to be the normal state of being for so many, it’s easy to believe that God no longer cares what happens on the earth.  We read stories in the bible that describe an active God, involved in the lives of his people, and we assume that he must have abandoned us to our own devices long ago.

But in one of those ancient biblical stories, God told how he put his bow in the skies as a sign of the covenant he established between himself and all flesh that is on the earth.  What’s most striking about this account is the fact that God didn’t put the bow in the sky for our sake, but for his.  Several times he states that when the bow is in the sky he will see it and remember his covenant.  This means that God is close enough and active enough to know every time it rains on the earth, and God is attentive enough to notice every rainbow that appears as the clouds begin to disperse.

Our God is neither uncaring nor absent.  Our God is the same God who was active in the lives of his people back in biblical times, and he is no less active today.  Perhaps our perspective has changed; perhaps we no longer attribute to God the same things that our biblical counterparts did.  Our world has changed a great deal since then.  But our God has not changed, and he remembers his covenant with us even when we forget, and he remains active and involved in our lives even when we don’t notice or recognize him.

Let us pray.  Ever-present God, you are with us even when we don’t recognize you.  Open our eyes to your presence, that we may experience your love and mercy in our lives.  Through Christ our Lord, Amen.