Amy Jones
I remember as a kid how all the Sunday School stuff for children rubbed me the wrong way. (Hey, these blogs are supposed to be raw, real, and to the point!) But it’s true. All the cartoony pictures, the cassette tapes of syrupy-sounding kids singing in unison about Jesus, the pencils that bore sunshiny smiley faces and the words “God Loves You!” were, in a word, obnoxious.

There. I said it.

Looking back, I’m glad I felt that way. I think it was my soul telling me surface facades weren’t enough. Religion, ritual, traditions, and things done just to pass the time and check the boxes weren’t enough to make me desire to know this Man depicted as a smiling long-haired fellow with little children gathered around him.

File all that while I change gears.

Recently I had a mental image of the entire earth covered in a storm. Picture one huge global hurricane. Now picture a shaft of light piercing through it, calming and healing wherever it hits.

We pray all the time for God to calm the storms in our lives, or prepare us for the storms to come. The thing is, because of the sin that Adam and Eve released into the world, the world is cursed. We are always in a storm. Always. Personally, politically, physically, emotionally, however you want to spin it, if we are living on this earth, we are always in a storm.

Now let’s look at that shaft of light. Imagine it as a shaft straight from us to Christ. In it is healing, calm, peace, hope, and the promise of a perfect, sinless world.

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  (John 8:12)

That pretty much sums up Jesus’s preaching time on earth. He was a walking, talking promise of a world where there is no storm and no darkness, no sin or pain. Wherever he was, sin fled, bodies and souls were healed, individuals were eternally reconciled to God, and, yes, storms were silenced.  

“In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4-5)

And He made a way to keep that light shining through the storm, that direct shaft between earth and heaven that connects us to an all-powerful Father, by sacrificing himself on the Cross and becoming sin for us.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor. 5:21)

“For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (2 Tim. 2:5-6).

In our Missional Community, we’re reading about Noah. Today, as I read, I was thinking about the parallels of this story in my own life: riding out the storm; watching for signs of firm ground and olive branches; waiting for healing and normalcy.

Noah had to wait it out, be patient, and deal with mess, grief, healing, and rebuilding once the Ark landed.

But God didn’t leave Noah to figure it all out on his own. He even gave him a visual sign. Something dazzlingly beautiful in real life but rather cheap and annoying on a Sunday School wall—a rainbow.

“The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.””
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭9:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The rainbow is a promise that God won’t destroy the earth by water again. It’s a promise that He will always keep His promises.

The God who said that His rainbow means I can trust Him is the God I want to know. The Christ who promises to be the Light of the world and stands mediating between me and the Father, bringing me direction and healing through His light, is the Jesus I want to know.

So, it really is about light and rainbows. You just have to be in the storm to see them.

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