Thursday, October 27, 2011

October 27, 2011

“Need an ark? I Noah guy.” So reads one of the cartoons on the bulletin board in the Friendship Room. There are lots of Noah cartoons posted there. The story of Noah and the Ark is familiar and we chuckle over jokes about it; we also think of it when we board the ferry to Nanaimo, or pause for a minute after a storm as we search the skies for a rainbow.

The covenant God makes with Noah – and the promise God makes to God’s very self – are of course the main point of the story. We can trust God not to destroy us, or the world. Even when times are rough, or things are falling apart around us, or we feel completely “at sea”, God promises to love us and support us.

It’s intriguing, though, to look for the less familiar parts of the story. Do you remember the raven? God sends a dove that returns with an olive leaf, a sign of dry land appearing. But the raven simply flies to and fro, to and fro. We never hear if she returns, or nests, or gets lost. I think the raven reminds us that many people flit to and fro, to and fro, looking or nesting or lost. How do we reach out to one who is looking or nesting or lost? That is our challenge, our calling, and God’s mission.  

Blessings on you, as you bring your compassion to the looking or nesting or lost.

The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean

Thursday, October 13, 2011

October 13, 2011

These autumn weeks we have been thinking about creation stories. Did you know there are two creation stories at the beginning of the Bible?

The earlier-written story features Adam, Eve and the Tree of Life. As we heard it in worship, we were crunching on apples that church members had brought. Who knows what the fruit in the tree was? But we can taste the story!

“Let there be light,” God says in the other story, and as creation progresses, God sees that it is good. That story was written when people were in exile, forced into labour in the Babylonian Empire. It was a time of despair. “Let there be light” reminded them that God does not plan oppressive things for people; after all, God intended that life would be good! And God is with us through the rough patches. Those ancient people wrote the story to give praise to God, despite hard times.

Trusting God when times are bad can be a challenge. We are not alone, however, in that experience. Certainly it’s not that it’s all good, but truly it is God’s spirit who is with us, no matter what. Our ancestors knew that. We can trust in that promise, too.

Blessings to you, no matter what,
The Rev. Dr. Catherine Faith MacLean