Word from the Center Digest: August 23, 2019
Pride Goes Before the Fall
by Peter Scaer
If you don’t know the story, you should check it out. It begins in Genesis chapter 6. Our Lord looked down upon the earth and saw that the wickedness was great, so much so that our Lord regretted that Ge had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him to His heart. And He added, “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, man and animals and creeping things and birds of heaven, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Gen. 6:6-7).
Whoa. That could have been game over. But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. A watery judgment followed, after which, a new beginning. You know the story. Noah and his wife, Noah’s three sons and their wives. Two by two, male and female enter the ark Noah had built. Then came the animals, two by two, male and female. So, there might be a renewal of creation. Then came the rains. The heavens opened up, and the rains fell for forty days and forty nights.
By the end of it, there was no living creature upon the earth, only Noah, and those with him in the ark. When it was all over, Noah offered a sacrifice of thanksgiving, and its aroma pleased the Lord. And our Lord set in the sky a rainbow, a covenant, a promise that He would not again send a flood to destroy all flesh.
And now, here we are, in the United States, in the year 2019, and who blinks an eye to see the rainbow flags that line our downtown streets? Who among us says the rainbow belongs to the Lord, a sign of promise, not of sin? And it is no ordinary rainbow. It is not a bow at all, but a flag, as if to mark territory conquered. And we are conquered. No one dares say a word, for those who do will be pay a heavy price, fined and fired, ostracized and reviled.
What to say? Well, it is good to know that as the Ark, with its many pairs of male and female, was a picture of creation, the culmination of a new creation awaits. And the rainbow will be seen once more in the heavens. In the Spirit, John saw what is and what is to come, our Lord Himself in return . . . and how shall our Lord return. John writes, “And he who sat there had the appearance of jasper and carnelian, and around the throne was a rainbow that the appearance of an emerald” (Rev. 4:3). Who is this Lord? The very one who created us male and female. The one who said that marriage was given in creation. The one who will come, once more to be our Bridegroom.
And so, get on board the Ark, which is the Church, the place where Christ brings the faithful to safety to the very shores of salvation. And if it appears that the churches are emptying, and people are bowing to the rainbow flag, remember that the Ark housed only eight souls in all. Sometimes, that’s just the way it is. So, be steadfast. Be faithful, remembering that on that last day, there will be no more parades to our pride; our Lord will reclaim the rainbow to Himself, and the faithful will follow in His train.
The Rev. Dr. Peter Scaer is associate professor of exegetical theology and director of the M.A. Program at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Ind.
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