Sunday – Read Genesis 7:1-5. Noah’s Obedience. Noah was obediet. Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him. Noah was faithful. He didn’t question God. He didn’t make suggestions. Noah did everything God asked him to do. Noah kept his eyes on God. Do you hear God’s whispers? Do you feel God’s nudges? Do you know what God is calling you to do? Are you being obedient to God’s call on your life and living into God’s purposes? As you pray, ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to do all that the Lord has commanded you to do.
Monday - Read Genesis 7:6-10. On the Ark. In his essay, “The Church as Noah’s Ark,” Frederick Buechner writes: “In the church as in Noah’s ark, just about everything imaginable is aboard, the clean and the unclean both… the predators and the prey, the wild and the tame, the sleek and the beautiful ones and the ones that are ugly as sin…. There are times when they all cackle and grunt and roar and sing together… Most of them have no clear idea just where they’re supposed to be heading or how they’re supposed to get there or what they’ll find if and when they finally do… There’s jostling at the trough. There’s growling and grousing… and sometimes it smells to high Heaven… But even at its worst, there’s at least one thing that makes it bearable within, and that is the storm without. And at its best there is… shelter from the blast, a sense of somehow heading in the right direction in spite of everything, a ship to keep afloat, and, like a beacon in the dark, the hope of finding safe harbor at last.” As you pray, consider what it means that we are all on the ark, and God intends to save us.
Tuesday – Read Genesis 1:1-10; 7:11-24. God Is with Us in the Flood. God shut Noah, his family, and the animals into the ark, and then God broke down the divisions between water above and water below. The windows of heaven were opened, and rain fell for forty days. All living animals and humans beings died and were blotted out from the earth. The flood purged and cleansed the world of its corruption. This story is about what God has done in a broken world. It is the story of a God who will not give up on those who have been created in the very image of God. This God is active in the world to bring about new beginnings. Even though the flood killed almost everything on earth, this story is more about salvation than judgment. As you pray, consider what it would be like to be on the ark and experience God’s compassion and saving work.
Wednesday – Read Genesis 8:1-5. God Remembered Noah. In the midst of the storms we can feel like God has forgotten us. The whole creation comes to that time of being forgotten by God as the waters surge, but the Good News of this God is that God remembers. The only thing the waters of chaos and death do not cut through is the commitment of God to creation. God’s remembering gives hope and makes new life possible. God remembered Noah, and immediately upon remembering Noah, the waters begin to subside. This story reminds us that when we feel forgotten, God still remembers us. As you pray, thank God for the compassionate way God deals with you, loves you, and forgives you.
Thursday – Read Genesis 8:6-19. New Beginnings. Noah uses practical wisdom rather than divine wisdom to discern the nature of the situation by sending out a raven once and a dove three times. Noah could probably determine whether the dove had found land by examining its feet when it returned. The olive branch brought back by the dove is a symbol of peace. Finally, the land dried, and God told Noah to lead his family and all of the animals off of the ark. It was time for a new beginning. What new beginnings do you crave in your life? Ask God to give you these new beginnings.
Friday – Read Genesis 8:20-21a. Noah Offering. How did Noah respond when God brought him through the flood. Noah worshiped God. He gave his best to God. He thanked God for saving him and his family. He thanked God for being with him through the flood. He thanked God for working through him. He gave his best to God. Generosity smells good. Thankfulness smells good. Worshiping God smells good. Noah’s offering touched God’s heart. In prayer, consider the way you will worship God with an offering.
Saturday – Read Genesis 8:21-22. God’s Promise. Who is this God? Look closer, and you might be surprised at what you find. God expresses sorrow and guilt. God judges but doesn’t want to. God goes beyond justice and determines to save us. God commits to the future of a less than perfect world. God is open to change and doing things in a new way. God is a Promise Maker. God promises to never hit the reset button again. This is not a clock-maker god who creates everything and then sits back to watch the world wind down. God cares about everyone and everything whom God has created. God who is filled with love. God who will not sit back and watch the whole world go to hell. Rather, God will recreate the world. As you pray, thank God for recreating broken things in your life.
Lectionary Readings: Genesis 32:22-31; Psalm 17:1-7, 15; Romans 9:1-5; Matthew 14:13-21