The children’s version of the story of Noah and the Flood tends to be bright and cheery. Some bad things are happening. There’s a lot of rain (which is in some way connected to the bad things). God tells Noah to build a boat for himself, his family and a portion of creation. After Noah follows God’s instructions and the rain stops, there’s a rainbow to symbolize God’s loving promise that there will never be such bad times again.
The real version is not nearly as cheery. People die. Everyone dies, except Noah’s family. People are evil, corrupt and violent, and a regretful, heartbroken God decides it’s best to destroy humankind.
Is that what God looks like?
Part of this story’s challenge is accepting that God is the One who gives breath and also the one who has the power to take it away in whatever way God chooses. The rest of the challenge comes in the form of that rainbow. From our perspective, the rainbow is just that, a bow; beyond the horizon, it is a continuous circle.
What does it mean for us to think of God as the full rainbow God, the God who is brilliantly at work beyond the horizon? Listen to the message from Sunday, September 4, 2016, to explore that question further.