February 18, 2018 — First Sunday of Lent
GN 9: 8-15; PS 25: 4-9; 1 PT 3: 18-22; MK 1: 12-15
It seems fitting that our readings on this First Sunday of Lent begin with the Old Testament Book of Genesis. The book was first called “Genesis” — ΓΕΝΕΣΙΣ — in the Greek Septuagint translation, as it presents both the origin of the world and mankind, and in particular, the Hebrew people. The book in Hebrew was known by its opening expression, “In the beginning.”
In today’s particular reading from Genesis 9, we hear of God’s relationship with Noah and his family. God says, “I am now establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you.” God goes on to say, “I set my bow (rainbow) in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow appears in the clouds, I will recall the covenant I have made between me and you and all living beings.”
As is often the case, we have lost sight of the significance of the rainbow in relation to our faith. Yet it is biblically confirmed as a sign from God. Some live in areas where rainbows are common, and others in areas where they are rare. Regardless, there is something divine about a rainbow. When you look up in the sky and see a multi-colored arc looking back at you, you should be filled with wonder. It is a reminder that we live in a world of wonder, of beauty, of adventure. A rainbow should give us hope that life really isn’t just about death and taxes, but much, much more. It is a clue to the meaning of the universe and where we stand within it.