Read Genesis 9:1-17.
Can I be real with you? The flood narrative is highly unsettling…and the fact that so many nurseries and children’s classrooms have walls bedecked with animals walking two by two onto a big boat – and that this is perceived as both cute and educational – is testament enough to humanity’s ability to ignore, suppress, and paint happy faces onto things in our past that we find upsetting or morally ugly.
And yet…these few verses contain within them the first covenant that God makes with humanity…and it’s unique. In all the other Hebrew Bible covenants (Abraham, Israel, King David) God asks the covenant partners to make commitments themselves. “I promise this, and you commit to that.” But here, God promises to be faithful and trustworthy, and nothing is required of Noah and his descendants. I see in this covenant a seed of an idea…the foundational idea for how God has decided to be in relationship with us. It’s the seed of Grace – a Grace that, once planted and tended, in partnership with God, will grow into a garden of Peace and Justice.
Friends, Grace is God’s heart for us…for you. There’s nothing you must do, no airs you must put on, and no price you have to pay to earn God’s favor. You are beloved. You are cared for. You are made very good, and no wrong you have done or will do can change the way God loves you, or change the wholeness and healing God desires for your life.
A breath prayer for us today:
Breathe in I am loved.
Breathe out and I share that love with the world.
Rev. Chad Wright-Pittman
Associate Pastor, First Presbyterian Church (Anderson, SC)
Alum, UKirk MTSU