An act of worship at home
Reading Genesis 9:8-17
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 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.’
We all face storms from time to time. Some storms are over fast and quick, whereas others (like now) seem long and endless. Some storms cause little damage, but others leave destruction and ruin in their wake. At times the lightening strikes and the thunder trembles. Storms destroy things. Sometimes it may be a storm that many are facing together, or it may be a personal battle. The sight of a rainbow, or even just the memory of a rainbow, can remind us that storms come to an end, eventually.
A rainbow appears in the sky when the sun shines after a downpour. It is visible when part of the sky is dark, and there is storm in one part and the sun is shining in the other. In the story of the great flood in Genesis the rainbow appears as a sign of a covenant between God and the world. The sign of an unconditional covenant by God. An act of unconditional love by God for the world and every person and creature in it. Rainbows are a vibrant expression of the presence of light in the midst of darkness. So the first sunlight that breaks through after a dark cloud is a welcome relief. It is a reminder that storms are transient and that there is indeed sunshine beyond the clouds of our storms. So whatever you may be going through, hold on! Don’t give up. The storms will cease! The sun will shine again after the storm clouds clear.
Every covenant comes with promises and we can trust that God’s promises are steadfast and sure. “For His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5.
Many a times we’re faced with circumstances that make us doubt the promises of God. Maybe you’ve received those promises with enthusiasm, joy and high hopes. Unfortunately, days, weeks, months and years passed by and the promise is far from being fulfilled. Still, we remember that God’s promise will never fail. It may appear delayed but it will eventually be fulfilled. No matter the seeming hopeless situation, God is with us so let’s hang in there, every storm is temporary.
When the Lord Jesus was awakened in the middle of that stormy sea, He asked the disciples, “Why are you afraid?” Are you feeling distressed, uneasy, worried, upset, fearful, apprehensive, agitated, fretful, restless, and nervous? Then tell God about it and trust God promise.
“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they shall not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.” Isaiah 43:1-2.
In the Bible, rivers and waters are not only physical bodies but also figure of speech for the things we face in life that can easily overwhelm us. Passing through the waters in life is certain. But God has promised to walk with us through it. We may not see God or feel God’s presence, but God’s always there! The storm may rage, but we will not be swept away. Jesus is with us in the middle of the storm. He is saying to your heart today, “Take courage.” Don’t be afraid. If you keep looking up, you’ll notice our rainbow. The darkness will go away and the sun will shine again.
Lord, there are so many things to pray for today.
The needs of the world, our communities, ourselves, and those we know and love.
The current situation can fill our hearts with heaviness.
Sometimes we may be feeling exhausted, worried, and unable to concentrate on anything.
Lord, in the stillness we bring our thoughts and feelings to you, sharing what is in our heart.
a time of stillness
As we think of the rainbow we pray it may be a continuing symbol of hope for the world,
and a reminder that your power will bring light in all its iridescent beauty.
Lord, thank you for your amazing love. Amen.
O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in thee;
I give thee back the life I owe,
That in thine ocean depths its flow
May richer, fuller be.
O Light that foll’west all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in thy sunshine’s blaze its day
May brighter, fairer be.
O Joy that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And feel the promise is not vain,
That morn shall tearless be.
O Cross that liftest up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.
May you know God breathing his peace over the depths of your soul.
May you know that Jesus is with you on your journey in the week to come.
May you know the Holy Spirit strengthening and sustaining you, this day and forever more.
And so may God’s blessing rest open us this day and forever more. Amen.