Build me an Ark – A covenant with all creatures
In this Lent series of Meditations called “Build me an Ark” I will be using the story of Noah to point out the pattern of God’s salvation plan for his creation. Linking this “Ark “ to the Rescue of Moses, the Ark of the Covenant, the Exile, and of course the life and ministry of Jesus especially the time he spent in the wilderness and the Passion Narrative.
As we journey, your traditional concept of these stories will be challenged, and you will need to go through a transformation. Nature teaches us that growth comes from a cyclical process and in each cycle there is a deepening of understanding and a transformation of our minds.
Behold, I now establish My covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth—every living thing that came out of the ark.
Genesis 9: 9 – 10
The Story of Noah and the Ark presents the pattern that God set in motion from the beginning of time. It is not only a creation story but a re-creation story and a salvation story. Humanity is to be the ark builder for the salvation of all creation. God has a plan to save the world from its destructive evil patterns and requires the participation of humanity to do it. God provides and gives detailed instructions for how to build this ark of obedience to God’s will for our lives. God requires humankind to care for and nurture all life! We are to build an ark, of faith and belief in Jesus Christ so that God can bring salvation to all creation.
The symbol of that covenant is the rainbow, the light of the world showing God’s true colours representing Christ, the full spectrum of light. The covenant is not only with human beings, but also with every living creature. Just as the dove brought an olive leaf, the Spirit brings peace (Genesis 8:11), and life is renewed. This is the pattern of life: God cleanses us through our obedience and restores the whole world through the faithful.
God has called you to build an Ark of faith and ride on the deep waters of life under the covenant of salvation, for all creation. Amen.
Fr Andrew Manning (Published in “Planting Seeds of Hope, 49 devotions on creation for lent” ACSA).
What does it mean to you that God’s covenant is with the whole of creation? How should we then treat animals, birds, insects?
Creator God, how deep are your designs!
You made a living earth, cloud, rain and wind,
and charged us with their care.
We confess that the way we live today is changing the climate, the seas and the balance of life, dispossessing the poor and future generations.
Build our lives into an ark for all creation,
and, as you promised Noah never to repeat the Flood,
so make us heralds of a rainbow covenant:
choosing life for all that is at risk – for creation, for neighbours near and far, our children and ourselves.
(Operation Noah launch service)