19And that every living thing, of all flesh, girlfriend shall lug two that every kind right into the ark, to keep them alive through you; castle shall be male and female. 20Of the bird according to your kinds, and of the animals according to their kinds, that every creeping thing of the ground follow to that kind, 2 of every sort shall come in to you, to save them alive. 21Also take with you every sort of food that is eaten, and store that up; and it shall offer as food for you and for them.” 22Noah walk this; he did all that God commanded him.

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Chapter 7

Then the LORD claimed to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all her household, for I have actually seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation. 2Take v you 7 pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and also a pair that the pets that room not clean, the male and its mate; 3and 7 pairs the the birds of the waiting also, male and female, to keep their type alive ~ above the face of all the earth. 4For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and also forty nights; and every living point that I have actually made I will blot out from the challenge of the ground.” 5And Noah walk all that the LORD had actually commanded him.6Noah was six hundred years old when the overwhelming of waters come on the earth. 7And Noah with his sons and his wife and also his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters the the flood. 8Of clean animals, and of animals that room not clean, and of birds, and also of whatever that creeps on the ground, 9two and also two, male and also female, entered the ark through Noah, together God had commanded Noah. 10And after 7 days the waters the the flood come on the earth.11In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the 2nd month, top top the seventeenth day the the month, on that day all the fountains the the good deep explode forth, and also the home windows of the heavens to be opened. 12The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. 13On the very same job Noah through his sons, Shem and also Ham and also Japheth, and Noah’s wife and also the three wives that his sons gotten in the ark, 14they and also every wild pet of every kind, and also all domestic animals of every kind, and also every creeping point that creeps top top the earth, and every bird the every type — every bird, every winged creature. 15They entered the ark with Noah, two and also two of every flesh in which there was the breath of life. 16And those that entered, male and also female of all flesh, go in as God had commanded him; and the lord shut him in.17The flood ongoing forty days on the earth; and also the waters increased, and also bore up the ark, and also it climbed high over the earth. 18The waters swelled and also increased significantly on the earth; and also the ark floated top top the face of the waters. 19The waters swelled therefore mightily on the planet that every the high hills under the entirety heaven were covered; 20the waters swelled over the mountains, extending them fifteen cubits deep. 21And all flesh passed away that relocated on the earth, birds, residential animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm top top the earth, and also all human beings; 22everything on dried land in who nostrils was the breath the life died. 23He blotted the end every living point that was on the face of the ground, human being beings and also animals and creeping things and also birds the the air; they to be blotted the end from the earth. Only Noah to be left, and also those the were with him in the ark. 24And the waters swelled on the planet for one hundred fifty days.

If i Can’t swim After 40 Days, background Me Up!

Let united state Pray:

God

There space things in this world

About this world

About the notified of the world

That we do not understand

And we pause this particular day to contemplate that

Both our frustration at our absence of understanding

And our smallness in relationship to you

Guide our hearts and also our psychic to see at every times and also all places

And every circumstances

The signs of her grace

In the surname of the one that bore a cross us still don’t understand

Jesus the Christ

Amen

We have good hymns and also songs about water.

“When peace, prefer a river, attendeth my way. When sorrows favor sea billows roll. Whatever my lot, you hast teach me come say, the is well, it is well v my soul…”

This hymn track is called Ville du Havre, and its called after a ship the sunk in the Atlantic ocean shortly after the great Chicago Fire destroyed the author, Horatio Spafford’s, wealth.

On that ship were all four of Spafford’s daughters and his wife. While his wife survived, every one of Spafford’s daughters died in the catastrophic crash.

Later on, once Spafford to be traveling on another ship, the passed by the wreckage site of the S.S. Ville du Havre, and also he penned these words, “it is well with my soul…”

In a more modern-day vein, the Christian rock band, Jars of Clay, has actually a great track on their debut album titled Flood. A modern-day day informing of the boy name story told native a an initial person perspective, it had this great, thumping bass laying under the verses, and this driving, full throated chorus:

But if i can’t swim after 40 days, and my mind is crushed through the crashing waves, lift me up so high that i cannot fall! elevator me up!

 

Lift me up…

Spafford held a courage the I regularly lack. It is regularly not well v my soul once tragedy strikes. Instead, ns usually discover myself shaking mine fist at God and also saying, “Lift me up!”

In this, our third week that this sermon collection looking at how a Christian life is straight related come water, we have actually to resolve the difficult and complicated issue the water is many times terrifying. Countless times the certified dealer of disaster rather of that medium of grace and promise the we experienced last mainly in the waters that baptism.

This past weekend my wife’s family was in town. And being tiny boys that 9 and 5, my nephews to be interested in everything in the house. My nephew was together well, she is 3, however my nephews to be the ones that wanted come explore, asking questions, dig with things.

And if you’ve ever before been come our apartment, you understand that this expedition of points did not take long. Our place isn’t very big.

But i did obtain out my “treasure chest” together my younger nephew phone call it. Yes, really it’s simply filled through bits and pieces of mine childhood, award I’d won, tape insignia that never made the on the uniform, a couple of arbitrarily G.I. Joes, part matchbox cars, and also my old photo IDs native high school that prompted a “who’s that?” native the boys…

And they want to play with it all.

But in there we likewise found a picture, and I’m not sure how it acquired in there, of my wife Rhonda as a little girl to run on the beach. Currently Rhonda and also I have known each various other for a lengthy time, since middle school, but this was of a yes, really young Rhonda, probably approximately 5 or 6 running on the coast in a swimsuit.

And ns pulled it out and looked at it, and also my mother-in-law came in and said, “Oh, ns remember taking that picture! It was her an initial time ever seeing the ocean, and when she obtained up to me she said, ‘Oh, it’s whatever I dreamy it would be and more!’”

And it is. I have a love affair with the ocean that trunk from mine childhood ~ above Miami Beach.

But I additionally remember looking the end at the ocean and wondering wherein it ended. I remember stand on the s in the middle of a storm, and also upon see a water spout form, obtaining this amazing terrible tremble rumble with my body.

The waters the this planet are amazing, and terrifying. They could rightly be referred to as “awesome” in the original sense of the term: they cause me to stand in awe.

And in talking about the awesome nature that the waters that the earth, i think there yes, really is no much better story than this noah story we uncover not far into Genesis.

I love imagining this story of Noah and also the overwhelming in different ways. I can imagine God comes to Noah and also saying, “Noah, out of all the world of the world, you I uncover righteous…” and Noah going, “Excuse me? have actually you been watching?”

I have the right to imagine God saying, “Build a boat, Noah. Right below in the center of Kansas. Build a boat,” and also Noah going, “C’mon, God, the people think ns crazy sufficient as the is. Now you desire me to go and prove it to people?!”

I love imagining the humorously like that due to the fact that it masks over my true are afraid over this passage: why go this story say God kills nearly everything in water?

Why? Why?

It’s a strange thing, really. In the start God developed the heavens and the earth…and only six chapters into it every God is already tired the the lot.

And I have to tell you that i really don’t like the young name story. That a small too violent because that my blood, and also I really don’t recognize the characterization of God. Really, God? You’re worn down of this creation that you proclaim to love already?

And one of the points I notice most about this reading from Genesis is the sheer volume that numbers! 40 days. 150 days. 600 year old. The overwhelming, literally, end our head in numbers. And you acquire the feeling that its overwhelming because that Noah and also his family as well. Structure this huge boat, gaining plants and animals top top the boat, closing increase ship, being in the middle of a organic disaster because that months and months…it’s sufficient to think God had it the end for you!

But I deserve to understand the sentiment, girlfriend know.

I can understand spring up in ~ the sky and thinking, “Alright, Almighty, that pretty clean you have actually it in because that me…”

Because I understand what it’s choose to feel as if your world is crumbling roughly you. Being overwhelmed through the number of it all. 100 job unemployed. 6 month without a stable location to live. Boiling water for three weeks because the water source is unsafe. 50 job in the hospital and also we quiet don’t recognize what’s wrong. 70 year old and also the pension is to run thin….

It’s together if water is rushing in upon your neck, and all friend would choose is a life-raft the end of the situation. The overwhelming, and all girlfriend would choose is some grace.

There are, of course, graces in this story. God walk not ruin everything. Indeed, every one of creation is saved in one means or an additional through the ark and procreation.

But the concern of “why” quiet lingers.

It’s much the same question I gain when ns sitting in ~ the bedside that someone whose lungs space filling up with fluid, slowly drowning in their very own body, and also they go, “Why? Why is God doing this to me?”

Why? Why?

The questioning of “why,” the bemoaning the the tragedies the life, is an act of lament. Ns think we have lost lament in this world, we have lost the capacity to grieve appropriately. We need lament in this world, we need to have the ability to shout to the Almighty and ask “Why?!” as soon as tragedy occurs, as soon as disaster strikes. God is big enough. God can take ours anger. God deserve to take ours questions, even if often silence is the only answer.

This story of Noah and the flood is a really challenging story, and one that bleeds right into my life all the time! i mean, I use flood imagery all the time when talking around trouble. So carry out you, i imagine.

Think of all the water connected metaphors we use for difficult times. “I’m knee deep” or “up to my neck.” “The mortgage is under water” or “our relationship is on ice.” “I’m increase a creek without a paddle,” or “I’m floundering.”

Our language is complete of them, rife with them, since we understand the case that water presents to us: it is a force that is nearly unstoppable.

Oh, sure, we deserve to move it. In fact, you’re sitting right currently on the bottom that the Chicago River. At the very least it offered to be. The old river provided to run straight under this sanctuary. We’re all up to our neck in the old Chicago River appropriate now.

And for every the technological miracles that it take it to draw away the river simply past Rockwell, don’t you understand we’re still payment the price of the move, the price of managing water? Our foundation is gradually sinking. If you want I can present you the cracks. Hence our need for a Capital project soon…

Yet water does have actually an unstoppable nature come it. That seeps right into cracks and crevices, anyone that has had to sump pump your basement knows this. It breaks down even the hardest products over time, wearing away at them.

And it overflows banks and also berms…even together we pray because that those in the flood zones of the middle states, specifically Minot, north Dakota today.

But for every the water metaphors the we have in ours language, and for every the times when we shout “Why is God doing this to me?!” in the challenge of tragedy, i think it would certainly be a mistake come assume that God is in ~ the helm of the crushing waters.

In those times and also in those moments, the feels together if God is being vengeful. I know it does, and also I’m quite critical of the shameless platitudes that we often like come throw around in the face of tragedy. That is not always for a purpose, the does not constantly lead to better life or a teachable moment. Periodically tragedy just leads come pain, and it feels as if God is against us, and also we can not mask over that fact, and also we have to not…

But in my love of hearts, no issue what it feels like, i trust the God is no the cause of this world pain.

When ns was a chaplain in ~ Northwestern Hospital, my pager went turn off at 2am ~ above the 5th of July. Gift a Trauma One Center, any kind of boating or fireworks accidents would come directly from the marina to Northwestern. It was a liven night.

And together my pager walk off, I called down to the ER. “Come quickly, please.”

I walk behind the curtain in the bustling ER, and also there on the table is a young guy with his entire family huddled approximately him, and his mommy wailing, lying on top of him, crying end her just son.

They had actually been out on a watercraft celebrating the fourth of July, jumping in and out that the water. And it was simply one earlier flip too numerous as the young man hit his head top top the next of the boat and was swallowed up, unconscious in Lake Michigan.

And as the mommy was crying, wailing over she son, she maintained saying, “Por que, Padre? Por que?” Why, Father, why?

So i did the Rite of too much unction, blessed the family, prayed v them in damaged Spanish, got their thanks, and went as much as the chapel for my very own wrestling match.

“Why, Father, why?!” ns shouted in that tiny chapel. My voice reverberating turn off the stained glass the was claimed to give me comfort yet only seemed to mock my inquiry with its bright and cheery outlook.

“Oh girlfriend who have the right to calm the storms, where were you as soon as this young was drowning? where were you?!”

And climate I observed the cross, hanging over there in the center. And also I mental the nurse stop the shoulder of the youngest sister, and also the physician holding the hand that the father as we prayed. And I psychic the extreme peace the fill the room together I took water, that very same water that had actually taken his life, and also made the authorize of the cross on his head and also gave his body up to God’s arms.

And then i knew where God was…and then ns saw.

God was holding the sister, comforting the father, cradling the young man, and carrying every one of us v that storm right into a brand-new understanding the life.

And although ns wasn’t, at the point, ready to speak “it is well v my soul,” that was far better than it had been.

I still do not understand tragedy, and also I’m skeptical of those who claim they do. I’ve review the scriptures from cover come cover and have however to discover a location where Jesus explains away senseless violence and also environmental tragedy. The evidential difficulty of angry is one the boggles my mind. And also for all the beauty that the waters that this civilization contain, they are still awe-some and terrifying.

This is why we require to have a legacy of lament. We need to have the ability to shake our fists to God, we need to have the ability to throw up our hands and also say, “Why?! I execute not understand!” the is supremely vital that we carry out this since it is the method that that feels.

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But because that as much as we lament, I have seen that we have a God that does not hover above the storms, yet rather rides v them with us. We see that most clearly in this cross. God, who surely can have exit ship, gotten in into all of humanity, also the painful aspects, to was standing in solidarity through us here.

And in those moments when our relationships space on ice, once we feel like we are up to our necks, and also when we are drowning in so countless ways, the most ethical prayer is one because that an ark, one for an escape, one that says, “Lift me up!”