First Sunday in Lent, Year B, Old Testament Lesson
Scripture: Genesis 9:8-17
On this first Sunday in Lent we hear the end of Noah’s story. Most of us are familiar with the tale of Noah’s arc and the flood that covered the earth. The students in your class will have played with a toy arc and plastic animals before. This week, however, we leave out all of the destruction and fear and focus on the promise. God chose Noah and his family to survive the flood and continue the human race – but trusting a God who destroys all that has been created is a difficult prospect. In today’s passage we hear of the mercy of God and the promise of life in abundance to come. In this exert from Genesis God makes a covenant not only with Noah, but with all living creatures, that the world will not be wiped out again. And to remind them of this promise God sends the rainbow and tells Noah and his children that each time they see a rainbow it should serve as a reminder of God’s promise to them. God likes to give us signs and symbols to remind us of God’s goodness, we practice them in the Eucharist each week when we “do this in remembrance of [Christ.]” Seeing the rainbow in nature, then, becomes sacramental as we remember the goodness of God as exemplified in the colors in the sky.