At the end of forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Genesis 8:6-7
There is nothing better than road trip to get you thinking about biblical stories and images. Wandering across the country in a 26-foot moving truck can make you think of the Israelites in the Wilderness or of Noah and his family crammed into the ark. These stories of our ancestors in faith are our stories. they are God’s Word of promise sustaining us through the hard times and proclaiming a world yet to come…a world that is bright and new.
As my youngest son, Toby, and I were traveling on I-94 just a little past Billings, Montana, jagged streaks of lightning decorated the distant horizon. Soon, dark clouds gathered above our yellow Penske moving truck, and the rain began to fall. Gentle drops morphed into angry pellets and then into unrelenting sheets. With terrifying force, the rains began to fall in eastern Montana.
Thunder shook the cab and continued to pound our little ark all the way across North Dakota. After what felt like forty days and forty nights, the deluge finally let up just as we approached the Minnesota border. I could have rolled down my window and sent out a raven, but there was no need. I could see the dry land of our new world with my own eyes. Toby and I pulled over at a rest stop and breathed in the heavy summer air. To a weary traveler and his son stepping out of their modern-day ark, it almost tasted fresh. If I squinted in just the right way I could even see a rainbow hovering over the new world ahead.
In a time of excitement and uncertainty, I cling to the stories that proclaim God’s truth. I invite you to do the same. Read the story of Noah’s Ark (Genesis 6-9) or any other biblical story that talks about a journey into something new. And, think about how the stories of our ancestors in faith are our stories. Think about how they connect to your own journeys of loss, terror, redemption, and new hope.
I am so very excited about being called to serve as the pastor of Christ Memorial Lutheran Church. I am excited to discover all the new ways that God’s promise of love and redemption will play out in the life that we share. There will certainly be rainy days and even times when we will huddle together in our little church boat waiting out the storm. But, there is a constant in this biblical story that is our own story. The constant is God’s unfailing love. There is a rainbow cast over the new world before us. Together, ours is the gift of continuing this journey where our own lives are renewed.
Thank you to each of you who have already worked to welcome me and even help unpack my little ark. Hospitality means so much when you are new. Join me in looking for God’s rainbow. God has blessed our journey and this new day that is to come.