Friday, March 2, 2012

Texting Through Lent

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If you’re following the Lenten resource called ‘Texting Through Lent’, then you’ll know that today’s reflection is on Noah and the flood. I have to say, my perspective on this story has changed significantly ever since I watched Tim Hawkins (a Christian comedian) say a little something about it:


After watching this video, it becomes CRAZY to think of it as a heartwarming story again! Rather, I should say that the devastation the story carries can never be erased thanks to Tim. And I have to say, it definitely does not make me want to paint our child’s walls with the story of Noah’s Ark anymore!

The truth is that, just as he calls it, there are a TON of stories in our bible that are not ‘family friendly.’ What do we do with these? How can God allow it? Not only did God allow the flood, but he actually was the one who initiated it and made it happen! What a challenge to our faith when we confront these stories as they are and not choose to see them only as presented in, say, the Precious Moments bible.

When I was in early high school, I distinctly remember having serious issues with what I saw as the ‘God of the Old Testament’ and the ‘God of the New Testament.’ I could not reconcile how God could be so nasty in the Old, and yet so loving in the New. There was nothing for it. Thank goodness for the faithful adults in my life who let me work out these questions and listen to me struggling. If not for them, I don’t know where my understanding of God would be today.

What I’ve since come to realise is that without Christ, our relationship with God could only be relatively good. We could only somewhat understand the workings of God and what God wanted from us. The few who were close to God still faced one issue: they were human, trying to interpret the divine. It’s like a straw trying to catch the rain. Jesus Christ was both human and divine, bridging that inherent gap that lay between God and ourselves. Interpretation became obvious in Jesus’ way of life. He was the face of God in human form. We can now have a relationship with God much closer than we could before because in his humanity, we can understand Jesus.

Does this explain why God sent floods upon the earth to kill every living thing? No, but it means that I don’t have to worry about that happening again. It means that God has forged a new covenant, one that I can fully understand if I spend time in conversation with God, through Jesus’ Spirit. This is the gift we have been given that wasn’t an option for Noah or the others who perished in the flood. It is ours to lay claim to, as we have been baptised into the life of Christ and made into God’s own adopted sons and daughters. This is the hope at the end. For us, our story doesn’t end just with a rainbow, it ends with life everlasting. And that’s something worth painting on walls. 

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