From Rev. Pat Kriss: The Rainbow
(Posted February 17, 2018)
“Shine your soul with the same
egoless humility as the rainbow
and no matter where you go
in this world or the next,
love will find you, attend you, and bless you.”
― Aberjhani, Journey through the Power of the Rainbow: Quotations from a Life Made Out of Poetry
This has been a week of emotions in perilously stark opposition to one another. First we thought our biggest tussle was the fact that Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday shared the same Wednesday date. How could we live in the gap between chocolate and ashes?
And then the massacre at the high school at Parkland Florida split the day into light and darkness.
Enough. I have had enough, like I am sure you have, of senseless loss of life and violence. Especially here, at First Church that lived through and directly experienced the Sandy Hook grieving, it brought us a flashback. At the time of this shooting I was working on this Sunday’s service, the one that starts with a reading from Genesis about the way God forged a Covenant with humanity, after cleansing the earth through flood of all humanity except for Noah and his family. And for more than a few hours, I think I understood how God must have felt. While there are many versions of the flood story in cultures around the world, our version says that the world was so filled with violent humanity that God said, “No more.” Time for a cosmic do-over. Wipe the slate clean. The temptation after 18 mass shootings since New Years seems to cry out for a do-over. No one seems to be listening, or very few raising a human figure to help. Perhaps a good old flood will get people’s attention.
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But that’s not the answer. God knows it’s not the answer, either. So on this upcoming first Sunday of Lent, the season of reexamining who we are, asking who we want to become and what we are going to do to become that better partner with God, we look across the gray February sky for that one sign that says God is with us: The Rainbow.
That’s the one true sign that speaks to God’s covenant to be with us always, in mercy: I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth." And so it is.
I invite you to join us this Jazz Sunday to start hunting for rainbows – even if right now it’s only the tiny shimmer on the back of a tear. God is with us. And I am so pleased to be back in the pulpit with you. - Pastor Pat Kriss
P.S. A great big hug and thank you to everyone who helped brighten my surgical recovery with cards, wonderful children’s drawings and with so, so many Congregational calories! You have no idea how much those gifts of love have meant to me.