Sit quietly for a couple of minutes and ask God to be with you in this time of prayer and meditation as you seek to encounter him genuinely. Use the words of Samuel as a breath prayer as you breathe in and out and say, “Speak Lord, for your servant your name is listening (1 Samuel 3:10).
Scripture: Today’s reading is Genesis 9:8-17 (Common English Bible)
8 God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “I am now setting up my covenant with you, with your descendants, 10 and with every living being with you—with the birds, with the large animals, and with all the animals of the earth, leaving the ark with you. 11 I will set up my covenant with you so that never again will all life be cut off by floodwaters. There will never again be a flood to destroy the earth.”
12 God said, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I am drawing up between me and you and every living thing with you, on behalf of every future generation. 13 I have placed my bow in the clouds; it will be the symbol of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember the covenant between me and you and every living being among all the creatures. Floodwaters will never again destroy all creatures. 16 The bow will be in the clouds, and upon seeing it I will remember the enduring covenant between God and every living being of all the earth’s creatures.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the symbol of the covenant that I have set up between me and all creatures on earth.”
Comments: This passage reminds us that sin is an inescapable reality of our human condition. We easily stray from the pathways of right living. We abuse the freedom God gives us and make choices that harm others, ourselves, and our relationship with God. And yet, God’s love for us remains steadfast. While God could have cut off all life because of our human inclination for continuous evil (Gen. 6:5-8), God chose not to. Instead, God chose to suffer and be grieved by our sinful, disobedient human condition. God has chosen to “work” within our fallen human condition, mercifully and patiently enduring our sin and disobedience while all the time remaining lovingly open and willing to redeem and save us from our destructive ways. Instead of a justified heart of war toward sinful humanity, God has shown us a merciful and compassionate heart of peace, reconciliation, and covenant.
Questions for Reflection:
For a deepening awareness of the sorrow and suffering, God endures for a divided, sinful, and warring world.
Concluding Prayer (Repeat 3 times)
Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son: and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: a world without end. Amen.