Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

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The Rainbow Connection

rainbowJust the other day the kids and I were looking out their bedroom window as the rain danced and played and poured happily into our brand new rain barrel under the most beautiful double rainbow I had seen in a year or two.  It made me think of how good God is to me (to you, to all of us!)  But then again, that’s what rainbows are supposed to do …

Genesis 9:12 And God said, This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.

The rainbow is a sign.  But not so much for you or me.  It is a sign for God that no matter what we might deserve, He will not punish us by water again. He will reserved water for granting life – Baptismal life – eternal life.  It will never again be the agent of judgment, but of mercy. And for that reason a rainbow as a glorious sign indeed.

But then I also got to thinking that the rainbow does not mean the same thing for most people anymore.  It has been co-opted in our day and age as an all-together different kind of sign.  A sign of tolerance and inclusiveness … but not under God and His covenant to us undeserving sinners!  Rather, it is used by a few to promote some of the very same sinful activities and attitudes that led to the global flood in the first place!

Think of the gall … to use the very symbol of  God’s unilateral covenant of mercy to actually condone and promote sin!  Sadly, the rainbow is not what it once was …

… It is even more important now than ever.  Into a world flooded with selfish and self-serving attitudes, a world awash in greed and violence, corruption and shame it is nice to know that there are still rainbows in the sky.

I may not see them as often as I like, but somewhere in the world right now there is a rainbow.  And God sees it.  And because of Christ and the punishment that He bore for you and me on the cross the Father remembers.  God sees the rainbow and remembers His covenant to Noah and all the flesh of the earth.  And the storms subside and the rains bring new life once again.

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To Eat or Not to Eat … That is the Question.

holy_communionTo eat the wafer or not to eat it … did the Prime Minister eat it or did he pocket it?  Why is this such a burning question for so many who never once have otherwise felt the need to give communion a second thought?  Why such a brouhaha over what so many would normally not even bother to include in their own life?  What is the real question(s) that should be asked and answered in all this?

Dr. Ed Kettner has written a thoughtful and well informed response to the whole confused controversy.  Here is just a small excerpt:

The awkwardness of the situation serves to demonstrate why the church has always taught that not everyone present at a service should come forward to receive the Sacrament, but only those who have been properly taught and understand what they are receiving. This is what the church has taught from apostolic times to the present.

These days feelings seem the paramount reason for doing anything. We are reluctant to “offend” people by perhaps suggesting they should not come forward to receive the Sacrament. Yet, the first and foremost question that needs asking is: What does the Word of God, the Bible, say about receiving the Lord’s Supper?”

Do your self a favour and read the whole thing here.  You won’t be disappointed.

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A Good Lesson

It seems that summer holidays are not just about skipping town and ignoring your blog for weeks at a time.  Its about learning a lesson or two … and from your son no less.

There we were in a brand new park joyfully racing through all the new playground equipment when my four year old spotted a climbing wall.  Seeing that a grown-up friend was over there already we let him run off to it (just try to keep a four year old from climbing!).  No sooner had we turned our backs to the other child at hand when there was a terrified scream, and inconsolable racking sobs from the climbing wall.

In an instant the parental instincts kick in and you go into triage mode.  What body part is he holding or favouring?  Can he walk? Is there dirt … blood?  Are we talking a fall, scrape, twist, pinch?

No.  he’s holding his face – right where he got stung.  Well, one of the two places he got stung.  It seems that wasps had recently made a nest in the top of the climbing wall and they were not impressed with strange young men calling at their door.

After a few minutes of calm and reassuring talk and waiting to see what kind of physical reaction he might have to the bite this gem of a human being turned the tables and teaches his dad a lesson.

“Are you going to be OK?” I ask him as he is still sitting on the bench.

“Yes” he says.

“That wasn’t too much fun, was it?” I respond.

“No, it wasn’t fun, but it was a good lesson to learn.” he says matter-of-factly. “Now I know what wasps look like and how much it hurts when they bite you.  It wasn’t fun to learn but it is a good thing to know.”

What can you do but sit there for a while and ponder the depth of wisdom that God gives where you least expect it (though you should by now!)  What can you do but begin to put some of your own fears and hurts and traumas into this same perspective … rarely fun but it almost always a good lesson to learn. What would life look like if I could learn to look at things the way this young man does?  How different might my opinion of life and struggles and the role of God in it all become?

After a moment or two of silence I reply to the little sage sitting beside me on the bench. “Yep, it is a good lesson isn’t it.”dead_wasp

“You know what else would be good dad?”

“No.  What?”

“Inventing a gun that only kills wasps.”