Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Noah's Ark take six


 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided;  the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the rain from the heavens was restrained,  and the waters gradually receded from the earth. At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated;  and in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.  Genesis 8:1-5

God remembered Noah and all the animals.  Such a sentence seems to suggest, on some level, God forgot.  That in the midst of the storm waters churning, lightening crashing, and chaos chaos-ing (not sure that is really a word), perhaps God got so caught up in it all that the ark became like an ant in the midst it all.  God lost the ark, it became a proverbial tree in the midst of the forest.

Have you ever considered that God could forget?  That just does not seem very God like. We usually talk about God being omnipotent (which means all powerful) and omniscient (which means all knowing).  Our theology (the ways we talk about God) can place intellectual distance between us and God in such ways that Scripture does not always support.  Take for example, God being all powerful. As people who follow Christ, we say that God does not always act in that way.  God is born as a tiny, vulnerable baby.  Christ is willing to teach in parables (confusing stories) rather than philosophical platitudes.  And next week, we say that Christ dies on a cross, a form of capital punishment the Romans used to keep the "peace".  All of the sudden, God's power and human's understanding of power are very different.

Perhaps the same is true of God's all knowing.  Maybe it is not a knowing for all times and places.  Maybe God does not exactly know what is going to happen to me next Tuesday at 3:15 pm.   Maybe God's knowledge is about being able to see just a little further down the road of my life than I can in the daily fog of my live.  Maybe God can see just far enough to notice the curve or that the bridge is out in my current path to nudge me to go a different way.  Of course in my stubbornness I can decide not to listen.  I keep on going on my own wisdom rather than follow God's wisdom.  

Remember is also about reconnecting.  Every Sunday we remember.  I mean that both intellectually we recall in our minds a Biblical story people have sometimes heard before.  But we also, re-member...as in re-connect and re-attach ourselves to each other as a community of faith.  Re-membering is not just an intellectual exercise, but one that connects us physically and spiritually to our brothers and sisters in Christ.  The most basic understanding of religion is to re-attach, as in re-attaching a limb (re - again and ligio means limb).  We are the body of Christ and every Sunday we re-connect with each other and God.

So maybe God's remembering of Noah and the animals was about a reconnecting or a reestablishing of God's relationship with God's creation.  That is what God does as God sends the spirit to surf over the waves of the flood.  God re-creates.  God re-connects.  God re-imagines what life could be like.  And that is an act that happens not only to Noah thousands of years ago...but also happens with the rising of the sun today, tomorrow and for a thousand tomorrows to come.  This is the day God has made.  This is the day when morning has broken, God's re-creation of a new day.  This is the day when we can be open to the traces of God's grace.

May it be so for you and for me.

Blessings ~

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