1 Peter 3:18-22
Peace be with you!
Do you remember the last rainbow you saw? I am not talking about a rainbow in your children’s picture books or pictures online Honestly, the only reason I remember the last rainbow I saw is the fact that a) it was as recently as a month ago and b) it caught me by surprise. I was in Utah, downhill skiing on a cloudy, snowy day. Suddenly, just as I rounded the bend for my favorite run, there it was – just bright enough to be seen – a shimmering rainbow in the sky. I quickly yelled to my friend to take a picture before flying down the hill. The sheer beauty of this piece of God’s creation caught me off guard.
Looking this beautiful work of God’s hand, I recalled the promise God made with Noah and his family. I was struck by God’s love for us and his ability to admit a fresh start was not the answer that he hangs up his bow for all of us to see (Jacobson, et al. 2012). The flood shows us how God takes sin seriously, but he also has hope and wanted a fresh start with his creation. The same kind of fresh start found in the rainbow is found in our baptism. Sin and temptation would still be in the world. God shows us the sign of the rainbow that he is committed to act with love and grace.
The sign of the rainbow reminds us Christians of our baptisms. In both accounts – the flood and our baptisms, God is reclaiming us as his children by washing away our sins. Water is the common force in these two accounts that cleanse the world of sin. The flood showed us that the death of sinners does not wipe out sin for good. Sinners need their sinful nature killed, but then they need to be resurrected. In baptism, God uses water to cleanse our souls (through death) and to claim us as his children (thus bringing resurrection). The rainbow becomes the symbol to God’s commitment to reclaim us as his children by washing away our sins.
As I reflect on the rainbow in Utah, I am reminded of God’s on-going commitment to me as his child. Although I struggle with temptation and sin, God cleanses me through baptism. I am forever a child of God. Nothing can separate me from him.
Thanks be to God!
Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for giving us the rainbow as a symbol of your commitment and love for us. Help us to stand in awe of the rainbow in the sky and to recall your promise to give us love and grace in the midst of sin and temptation. Thank you for cleansing our souls through baptism. Amen.
Jacobson, Rolf, Karoline Lewis, David Lose, and Matt Skinner. “Brainwave 221 – Lectionary Texts for Feb. 26, 2012.” WorkingPreacher.org. St Paul: Luther Seminary, February 19, 2012.
Thanks to the Triune God – God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Please answer the following reflective questions in the comments below. Please agree to disagree and be respectful to each other. (If you have not already done so, please also take a moment, to sign the comment covenant.) You can answer as many questions as you would like.
1. When was the last time you stopped and looked in awe at a rainbow?
2. How does God continue to cleanse your soul?