Following on from my previous harvest thoughts, I’m continuing the theme in this Sunday devotional post.
Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of human beings, even though every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:15-22
We all like a fresh start, and so many people use the New Year to look at their lives, their hopes and their goals. For the students starting their studies, it’s very much a fresh start now. In nature, the changing seasons constantly provide fresh starts, each one preparing for the next.
Yearning for a fresh start is very common, because we make mistakes and mess up, because we experience regret and disappointment, or simply because of our circumstances.
When Noah and his family stepped out of the dark and smelly ark into a fresh new world, the first thing they did was to build an altar in thankful worship to God. Noah was making a fresh start in a new Eden, with the blessings of the covenant sealed by a rainbow.
But it wasn’t all sweetness and light for Noah and his family. It reminds us that things don’t always go as we would like, and it wasn’t long before God’s gift of grapes was harvested, and Noah became very drunk and disorderly.
But we live in a wonderful world, constantly renewed in the changing of the seasons, and in our Christian lives we can also experience the constant renewal of our faith, so important to our spiritual health.
God of new beginnings,
we are walking into mystery.
We face the future, not knowing
what the days and months will bring us
or how we will respond.
Be love in us as we journey.
May we welcome all who come our way.
Deepen our faith
to see all life through your eyes.
Fill us with hope and an abiding trust
that You dwell in us amidst all our joys and sorrows.
Thank You for the treasure of our faith life.
Thank You for the gift of being able
to rise each day with the assurance of
Your walking through the day with us.
God of our past and future,
we praise you. Amen.
God of new beginnings,
We can be renewed each day, we can make a fresh start every morning, and we can offer ourselves in ministry and service now and into the future.