Monday, March 21, 2011

March 20 Sermon, Hope Floats

Genesis 7: 1-18
1 Peter 3: 13-22

Don’t get the wrong idea about why I chose this scripture in relation to events in Japan over the past week. I actually started planning this sermon two weeks ago and had originally chose it to relate the 40 days of rain to the 40 days of Lent that we observe.
Feeling safe and secure. Feeling rescued.
The one cruise ship experience I have had was not very enjoyable, though free. I was a youth minister in Bartlesville, and another friend of mine from college said a couple of them were going down to the Bahamas to check out a mission site, and had received a grant to take a first hand look at no expense. They invited me along too.
We were told we were going to be taking a cruise ship from Ft. Luderdale to the Bahamas, and this got me pretty excited too.
Got pretty seasick.
Noah’s Ark:
The Problem: Our lives are filled with chaos, and we’re in danger of drowning in the chaos.
Relate the ark narrative to the cross. Perhaps have a pillow of blue sheer on the altar with the ark on it on the cross.
What shall we do? Turn the church into an ark. In here, we cultivate the practices that will have a part in our “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.”
Jesus built an ark with his life. He faced the hard, relentless rain of temptation and persecution.
In the wilderness, where the Israelites wandered for 40 years, Jesus found himself attended by angels
Are we more prone to notice that God provides the flood or that God provides the ark?
The great rabbinic commentator Nachmanides wrote that God gave the Rainbow by turning upside down the bow of war. "See," said God; "My bow can no longer shoot from Heaven. It is now my sign of peace and love and hope."

Job’s friends are obsessed with suffering and how to explain it. They give all kinds of reasons amnd make all kinds of connections. God doesn’t listen to them. God sweeps them aside and gives ear to the sufferer, Job. It is not the best argument that wins the day—it is the plea.

Teva, the word for the Ark that saved the future from the Flood, is also the word for "word." As Noah could not simply contemplate the Teva/Ark but had to enter it to save the creatures, so we have been taught ? by the Baal Shem Tov, for instance ? that we cannot simply mouth a Teva/word of prayer, but must ourselves go deep within it, to save and heal ourselves."

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