December 1, 2016 - Rev. Debra Garfinkel

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided;… Genesis 8:1

In those days, those ancient days of turmoil and unrest, of violence and hatred, of greed and injustice—in those ancient days God’s people are suffering. Imagine being in that time: The people of God depend upon themselves and not upon God. They fall deeper and deeper into a foggy, fuzzy forgetfulness of all God gifts them.

These people cannot see, nor can they hear God’s presence among them. They can no longer experience God’s desire for their wholeness and for their collaboration in creating a world of abundance—a world with enough for all. In those ancient days, God’s people lose God’s great gift of vision: Big Amazing Love. They lose their faith. They lose Hope.

And yet, there lives among them, a faithful, trusting, hopeful man named Noah. Noah and his wife, along with their sons and their sons’ wives, are paying attention. They alone, it seems, live according to God’s ways. The din and roar rise ‘round about them—and then, well—we know the story, don’t we?

The dark clouds gather and the rains come pouring down. A massive flood covers all the land and all of the inhabitants except this righteous family and the creatures they live with in the great box of a boat they built. Noah and his family follow their faith; they occupy Hope.

In this Advent time of waiting for the birth of the new world that the baby Jesus brings, remember the promise and the gift of Big Amazing Love. Follow where faith leads: Occupy Hope.

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Crossposted with premission from Phillips Theological Seminary

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