My friend, may I ask you a question? What is the purpose of covenants? Are they just for show, or is there a much deeper purpose to the symbols of a promise like those stars, stripes and colors? What about God’s covenants? Are we surrounded by the symbols of his promises but have not reached out to touch, feel and wrap ourselves in them?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.
When I was in 8th grade I was the designated keeper of the flag. Each morning when I arrived at school I secured the flag from principal’s office, and raised it to staff. In the afternoon when classes were over, it was my job to lower it, fold it properly and return it to the office. To this day I recall the feeling of the flag moving up the staff and the tension of ropes as it hit the top of the pole. Then there was the twisting of the rope around the halyard and one last look upward at the flag of the United States of America. I still raise the flag on nearly a daily basis on the pole attached to our back deck. Every time I do, the feel, sound and sight take me back those fifty plus years. I bonded with the flag. I believe it meant something very special to me, more than a picture in a book or the sign-on screen of the television at the beginning of another Saturday morning. The relationship with the flag was, is and probably always will be the feel of it folded, the smell of the cloth dampened by the early evening air, and the warmth of it wrapping around me as it comes down the pole into my arms at end of the day. While the flag may mean something special to you, I believe it can’t mean more than it does to someone who touches it, smells it and feels it every day. In a special way it’s a covenant. I promise to fold it properly, raise it with respect, keep it from darkness, and never let it touch the ground. In return I know how it feels to know, really know the flag.
What is the purpose of covenants? Are they just for show, or is there a much deeper purpose to the symbols of a promise like those stars, stripes and colors of the flag on its staff? What about God’s covenants? Are we surrounded by the symbols of his promises but have not reached out to touch, feel and wrap ourselves in them? Let’s look at the covenant promise God made to Noah after the Great Flood. “And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.”(Genesis 9:13) Why do you think that God used a rainbow as a symbol of his promise? He could have spoken in a quiet whisper as he did to Elijah. He could have appeared in wheel of fire as he did to Daniel. He chose to seal his promise, however, with every color he fashioned in creation, in a way that would repeat itself continuously until the end of time. God wanted not only Noah to remember him, but every living man and woman until this very day.
As the raising and lowering of the flag has tempered and sealed my relationship with my country in a way that only repetition can, so too is the rainbow of God’s promise to never destroy the earth again until Jesus comes to take us safely home. Think about how Noah would have felt thereafter had there been no sign like this? Like you and I . . . “The rainbow appears . . . when we have most reason to fear the rain prevailing, God shows this seal of the promise that it shall not prevail. The rainbow appears when one part of the sky is clear, which intimates mercy remembered in the midst of wrath, and the clouds are hemmed, as it were, with the rainbow, that they may not overspread the heavens . . . that we also may be ever mindful of the covenant with faith and thankfulness.” Noah had transacted business with God. He built an ark, loaded it as ordered and road out the storm. In return God gave him a sign of promise that he would never have to do it again. Look up to the heavens my friend and find the rainbows God has planted there for you. Transact some business with your maker. Know how it feels to know, really know, God.
We pray. Heavenly Father, thank you for your promises, especially that we never need fear death for we shall never see it in fear. Help us Father to draw closer to you wrapped in the covenant of your promise that in Christ there is nothing to fear in living. Forgive us when we allow ourselves to regard your promises with but a smile, never seeking to wrap ourselves in them completely. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.
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God bless you for Jesus sake.