Longing for Home: An Advent Journey – 2016 — Day Two


Psalm 124
Genesis 8:1-19
Romans 6:1-11

For a whole lotta years, I collected Noah’s Ark memorabilia. Friends and family gave me a wild variety of artifacts and collectibles: wall hangings, stitcheries, figurines, greeting cards, even an adorable waste basket. And all of it decorated my offices at both of the churches where I served on the pastoral staff.

And then one week, I drew the straw to preach on that text in Genesis — and I was overwhelmed by the terror of it all. All of my cute things no longer seemed quite so cute. Yes, I kept a few, and use them now in my home office. I had too many sentimental attachments for me to divest fully. But these days, I don’t feel the same way about that story at all. This is not really a story for children, is it? It is a story about the horrors of sin and the darkness of evil, when human beings make choice after choice to invite that evil into their hearts and then live out of darkness rather than light. And it’s about God’s exhaustion with all of us, about God’s disappointment with his creatures.


Thankfully, it is also a story of redemption, rebirth, and promises kept. It is also a story about God’s bow in the sky. It is also a precursor for the ultimate story of redemption that our season of Advent marks out for us. It serves as a pointer to Jesus, a reminder from pre-historic times that God seeks us out, that God welcomes us to begin again, that God wishes for us to flourish.

That’s the part we need to tell our children, right?

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  1. Yes!
    We need to tell it and celebrate it and believe it in our bones so that we can live it as our own unique story.
    I didn’t know that you were doing an Advent series!
    What a fun thing to discover on a Monday afternoon.

  2. Yes, that is the story we need to tell our little ones, Diana. God’s plan always has been and always will be our redemption.

  3. Against the darkness of evil, God’s light is especially dazzling. And to think: the facts that he seeks us out, welcomes us to begin again, and wishes for us to flourish are just a few of the ways he shines his love and grace upon us. Thank you, Diana, for such uplifting thoughts.

  4. I remember having a similar realization after the flooding left by hurricane Katrina. It really is a story of utter devastation. Honoring the devastation makes the bow and the hope it points to more meaningful, doesn’t it? Looking forward to journeying with you this advent, Diana.