This Easter, get in the ark

noah's ark-sm

Spring is trying to spring. The calendar says it should, and we, the people, agree. But even as we wish winter away, we dread what follows.

Alps have risen in our front yards. Some walkways sport newly sculpted tunnels. Snow still lurks in local forecasts. But so does spring flooding. Water. Everywhere. On our roads. In our fields. Overflowing the culverts. Washing into our homes. Dire predictions abound. “Worst flood in recent memory,” some predict.

A few communities have tried to prepare. Most, including my own, just wait, hoping the experts are wrong. Hoping we’ll be among the fortunate ones who come up dry. Wishing for an ark, like Noah’s. Remember him?

For several hundred years, a thoroughly corrupt citizenry mocked the old man’s forecasts. “Flood’s comin.’ God’s mad. Really. You guys are incorrigible. So bad, he wishes he’d skipped day six. Think I’m kidding? Just watch.”

Yawn. Perhaps they found it humourous, then tiresome, watching that six-century-old man and his family. Sawing, sweating, heating, warning, pressing, preaching, sweating some more, then finally completing that cypress wood ship known as the ark.

Perhaps some reconsidered when the animals started appearing, unbidden. Lions, boarding the ark, docile as kittens. Maybe they stopped mocking when the first drops appeared. But then it was too late. Genesis 7 records that only Noah, his family and enough animals to begin the process of replenishing  the earth survived the flood.

Our grandbeans love the large Noah’s ark set in our living room. On evening I began paying attention to their role-playing right at the part of the first blinding, driving rain. The ark pitched and tossed in the gale. Untold casualties surrounded it (figures from a long-ago Wild West set), each plastic sinner swept by the flood into the cavern under the piano bench.

I waited for the usual outcome. Dove. Rainbow. Animals busting out. Instead, as the rain came down and the flood came up, one small ladybean darted under the piano bench. Plucked one of the drowning figures from the water, and swiftly landed it atop the ark.

This provoked a severe reaction from the sibling who insists on all things as usual.

“NO, NO! He can’t come! He doesn’t belong to the family of Noah.”

The tender-hearted rescuer thought a moment. Then, spying another toy from the Wild West set, her eyes lit up. “OK,” she said, “then he’s going in the canoe.”

A small personal flood nearly overtook me just then.

History brings evidence of the truth of Bible prophecies—that God’s judgment hovers over those who ignore his laws—nations, governments, societies and individuals. But every Easter reminds us of God’s loving offer of an ark of rescue: forgiveness through His Son, Jesus Christ. Heaven mourned his death, those who know him celebrate his resurrection, and one day every knee will bow.

Don’t settle for a canoe. Get in the ark—it’s going to rain.

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It’s Good Friday as I post this here…many blessingsto all  my reading  friends. If you can, make time to listen to Gary Chapman’s version  of this largely unfamiliar hymn written by the prolific 19th century hymnwriter Fanny Crosby. I have never heard this before, but it’s most beautiful: