God of Community, Hope and Faithfulness

God of Community, Hope and Faithfulness

Genesis 8: 1-19

Seasons of disaster rip lives apart, interrupt futures and multiply griefs every year — tornadoes in the Midwest U.S., earthquakes in Italy and tsunamis in Southeast Asia and, in my own region, the cataclysmic earthquake that laid waste to Port-Au-Prince and surrounding regions in southern Haiti.

Do the regularity and destructiveness of these events lower our sight and hope of deliverance? If they do, then we need to be inspired by the insight and hope of persons such as Noah of the flood, Simeon the priest who waited for the birth of Jesus, and the widow who pestered the judge for justice in Luke’s gospel. For we too face moments and crises that tend to shatter our faith and therefore diminish our hope. I have personally been uplifted by the energizing faith of the phoenix-like Haitian women whose singing testifies to their hope in deliverance from God.

Our passage reveals to us that for God there is a direct connection between the suffering and pain in creation and the faithfulness of the community. It also reveals that in the affected community hope is not only possible, but God gives us reason to hope as in the sign given to Noah by the dove in Genesis 8:11.

For Noah and his community, the waiting was over, hope was fulfilled and it was time to work and walk with God into a new day. Family and the sample of all that God created represent this hope in our passage under consideration – a hope that reminds us that sin and destruction are never the final event in our relationship with God, but that God continually renews and restores all of creation, including our relationship with Him.

At this season of Advent, when we are surrounded by overwhelming bad news, personal pain and loss, hope in our communities seems to be found in newer furniture, brighter lights and seasonal acts of charity. Hope for real deliverance is evaporated, and yet, it is in this situation that you and I are called like Noah and his community, Simeon and the Magi to become agents of hope.

Prayer: Creator God, God of Community, hope and faithfulness, Thank you for your limitless power towards your children. Amen.

Rev. Serna E. Samuel is Caribbean Regional Missionary with United Methodist Women.

Posted or updated: 11/28/2016 11:00:00 PM

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India: Center for Research and Rehabilitation of Infants and Females: HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness through educational programs.

Testimony for Nov. 27-Dec. 3:

“In November 2014, we started another detention ministry at Gants Khodag Detention Center. We have been ministering to the people by sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are reminded of Matthew 25:31-46 as we minister to the people who sit in the detention center. May God continue to work in our lives to build up God’s kingdom.” –Sun Lae Kim, General Board of Global Ministries missionary, Mongolia.

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