The world has messed itself up beyond redemption and God decides to start all over again. One family and two of every living creature are called into the safety of an ark which will float above the waters of chaos. From the faith of Noah, the whole world is recreated.
This is the second of the stories that we tell from the book of Genesis this summer is about how God is in relationship to the whole world. The old way is that everything is broken into different camps all messing with each other. Noah recreates the world where everything starts off in “my” (my ancestor’s) boat. If we didn’t get it the first time, then we punch it that we are all family. But the story also says that we aren’t perfect. We don’t start as blessed mud breathed the breath of life into us but with all our faults and failings. We aren’t going to be perfect, we are who we are. What does it mean to claim everyone as family in all our faults and failings. And God in the middle of all that. That is the rainbow, the wild diversity of color and promise right in the middle of the rainstorm.
And in the midst of that is our responsibility to the earth, not because God set us in charge of it, but because it is part of the family too, everything coming out of the same boat.
The ark is the image of the covenant, not the rainbow – the rainbow reminds us of the ark. We are all in the same boat together, God, every other person, and the whole world. Somehow or another we have to figure out how to make it all work together and God is in the midst of that.