Hello everyone, my name is Susan Bloomfield and I’m the Director of Music Ministries here at Mountain View. Today’s devotion for Monday, April 6 is the story of the Flood from the Easter Vigil liturgy.
Possibly no other story in the Bible carries as much dogmatic baggage as the Flood. We hear in Genesis chapters 6-9 how God told Noah to build an ark, gather 2 of every animal and bird, and shut in himself in the ark with his entire family. We are told that God sent rain for 40 days, wiping out every living thing from the face of the earth because “…[Noah] you alone are righteous before me in this generation.”
I think the story of the flood is so much more than God being angry with the sinfulness of humanity and killing every living thing on earth to start over again from scratch. As scholars from BioLogos state, “The story of Noah, the Ark, and Flood speaks an inspired and powerful message about judgment and grace, that has instructed God’s people throughout the ages about God’s hatred of sin and his love for his creation. Most importantly, we see God’s promise never to destroy the Earth again fully realized in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, where God takes the judgment for sin upon himself rather than humanity. Thus, through the lens of Christ, the biblical Flood story proclaims the marvelous news of God’s grace and love for his people.” (https://biologos.org/common-questions/how-should-we-interpret-the-genesis-flood-account/)
Another aspect of the flood story that directly relates to our life today is that when Noah and his family were in a time of crisis they turned to God for help. The ark can be seen a physical representation of the shelter God provides us in times of trouble. Genesis 7:17-18 says, “The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth. The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.”
We all know what it feels like to feel tossed and turned, and, in this time of surrealism, to feel completely ungrounded. The story of the flood reminds us, that, even when there is no ground to stand upon, we can rest in the protection of God (even if we’re cooped up with our spouses, children, and pets!).
Additionally, the traditional response to the story of the Flood at Easter Vigil is Psalm 46 (which the hymn, “A Mighty Fortress” is based upon). We hear, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult. ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Psalm 46:1-3, 10-11)
Let us pray:
Almighty God, you have placed in the skies the sign of your covenant with all living things: Grant that we, who are saved through water and the Spirit, may worthily offer to you our sacrifice of thanksgiving; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Watch this related video: https://youtu.be/E47ZBwT4MUc
Image: 12th-century depiction of Noah sending the dove. Mosaic, Basilica di San Marco, Venice.