Our Old Testament lesson is Genesis 9:8-17.
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 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.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
God makes a covenant with Noah and all living things when they have come out of the ark, sealed with the sign of the rainbow. It is His promise to never again destroy the world by flood. God is giving His creation another chance.
God has made covenants with us many times during our history, calling us into a relationship with Him. As with Noah, many of these were with individuals (Abraham, Moses, David) but God has also made covenants with His people as a whole, promising Israel a place and offering us eternal life through the New Covenant in Christ.
God makes a covenant with us that we might better understand His love and our responsibility to share that love in the world. A covenant reminds us that God is in control and regardless of earthly events, His promise is unchanging. When we put our trust in Him, we are empowered to be His representatives, sent out under His covenant to minister to everyone.
Loving Lord, we are thankful for Your gifts and Your promise given that we might share the blessing with all Your children. Help us remember our promise to live under Your covenant forever. Amen.