February 18, 2018
1st Sunday of Lent
Gen 9:8-15 PS 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9 1Peter 3:18-22 Mark 1:12-15
My youngest daughter splashed in the bathtub this morning, playing with her Little People ark and animals. The toy is such a cheerful looking thing, all bright colors and chubby cheeked smiling faces, bobbing along in her bathwater.
The real ark, of course, was so much more.
God sent the rains and the flood to wash the Earth free from the sin that covered it. He wiped away every living thing except whatever animals and people that were in the ark. It was just a boat made out of wood, and yet it was the symbol of salvation for everything inside, and death for those who were not.
It was the hope for mankind, ordered by God and built by human hands. It was the final culmination of the effects of sin on God’s creation. He looked upon all that He had created and saw that it was no longer good, and so He began again, offering humanity a shockingly stark difference between those who loved Him and those who did not.
The world was cleansed of sin by the waters of the flood. A few thousand years later and John stood in the midst of a river calling the descendants of Noah to return to the waters, repent, and and once again be washed clean from the effects of sin.
Beyond the Baptism was the Cross, ordained by God and made by human hands, the means of our salvation. It was the fulfillment of the promise of the ark – climb aboard and be saved.
Photo credit: [CC BY-SA 2.5 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons