Read: Genesis 7:1-9 (NRSV)
One of the most familiar “sets of forty days” in scripture is the forty days spent by Noah and his family on the ark. Typically we think of this as a story pointing to a children’s lesson about a rainbow. God promises to use the rainbow as a reminder to not destroy but rather show us grace. Whether it is the rainbow after the storm or the water from the sprinkler in the yard, we remember God desires for us to be righteous when we see the very special perspective a rainbow provides. But the forty days on the are the story for Day two in this spiritual journey.
In our post-modern consumption of scripture, very little attention is given to God’s act of cleansing and reconciliation by the flood. While the consequence of our collective and individual sin may never be a cataclysmic flood, God continues to call us to faithfulness and trust. Yet, we continue to test God’s love and patience. This mistrust and pushing away is our choice of sin. Imagine a forty-day cruise. Not the typical cruise, but one where we are surrounded by God inviting us to work alongside God in providing for the restoring of righteousness, and goodness throughout the world, Noah’s cruise.
Noah and his family are placed in the process of God’s cleaning work, to be ‘saved’ from certain death and enjoy the fruit of God’s righteous life.
The journey ‘in’ the Sin is seen throughout our lives and around the world. Sin is what we place, allow, or ignore in our lives that separates us from God. Those ideas, thoughts, beliefs, and actions continuing to prevent us, and others, from living and trusting what is right and wrong. Our only hope is God’s grace and help.
Near the start of our spiritual journey is a spiritual bath, a moment of cleansing. We might begin by speaking to God our prayers of confession. We might reach out to those we have harmed or ignored to open what has been closed. Our best effort to concur our sin is to manage spinning plates on sticks until everything comes crashing in because we messed up or some distraction. But we don’t want another flood to free us from sin. We need a method of being cleansed that doesn’t destroy the world.
Think of this, the forty-day journey that Noah and his family made a boat, by God’s direction, that has no sail, no rudder, and no anchor. This boat is also filled with animals and one family to do the work. They are completely reliant on God for everything. Here is the cleansing work.
When we are willing to recognize the power and influence of sin in our lives, we relinquish that we are in control and hand the reigns over to God’s heart. This begins a process of transformation that demands our cleansing ourselves, of ourselves. Jesus does the actual turning around for us, giving himself as the example and as payment for our default on right living. This journey will be that cruise. It’s time to feed the animals and enjoy the ride.
Action Plan: Make handwashing a time of prayer.
Prayer: Lord, make me whole, not just clean. Amen.
Our journey to the cross is two days closer..