Prayer: Guide us to do the things we need to do for you, God. Amen.
Reading: Genesis 6 (Click to read text)
Stop and GROW: After reading the text, discuss/ponder the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Book of Faith questions, which are part of Camp Mount Luther's GROW Time with campers.
QUESTION 1: What scares, confuses, challenges, or doesn’t make sense to me in this text?
QUESTION 2: What delights me in this text or is my favorite part of the story?
QUESTION 3: What stories or memories does this text stir in me?
QUESTION 4: What is God up to in this text?
Reflection: Maybe there’s a little more to this story about Noah. We know the nitty-gritty about how many cubits God wanted the ark to be. We even know some sketchy information about Noah’s family and how they got assigned ark duty. But we don’t hear about those days in between God’s command to build the ark and the first clap of thunder that began the flood. Try to imagine the conversation between Noah and his wife when we had to propose the idea of extended time on a houseboat. “Hey, honey? You know how you’re always saying that society is going to hell in a hand basket? Well, it turns out that God agrees with you. How do you feel about yachts?” We don’t hear how Mrs. Noah responded when Noah had to explain about the cubits and the animals and the 40 days and 40 nights. We just know that Noah did what God asked of him. Right down to the last cubit. We don’t know if his friends made fun of him. We don’t know if his in-laws told their daughter that maybe she should leave her lunatic husband and come back home. We don’t know if he even had any sailing experience. We don’t know if he lost his day job because he was putting so much time on that blasted ark.
What we do know is that sometimes when we do something that we know God wants us to do, it seems foolish to those around us. Sometimes we have to spend painful amounts of time explaining why we’re taking a cut in pay to do something that we feel is a calling. Sometimes we have to be patient with family members who just don’t get why our church life is so important to us. Sometimes we have to endure being made fun of by our friends for the sake of our Gospel calling.
We don’t know if Noah even knew WHY he was building the ark. We just know that Noah walked with God. And by walking with God, he did his best to listen for God’s commands and follow through in service to his Creator. Maybe Noah would have preferred that someone else build the ark and put up with all those jokes from the neighbors. But God asked HIM to do it, cubits and all.
What has God asked you to do in your life that seems weird? Have you taken the lead from Noah and walked with God? You might now know why God calls you in a certain direction, but when the raindrops start falling, you’ll have a bit more perspective. In the meantime, keep walking with God.
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