A sermon exploring violence, masculinity, and religious belief, and a way we can break the pattern of bloodshed, tyranny, and harassment.
Genesis 9.8-17 / Mark 1.9-15 First Sunday of Lent 2018
Today is the first Sunday of Lent—a weekend marred once again by a tragic shooting in an American school. On a weekend like this, in the midst of a troubled world, our readings offer astonishing and timely wisdom.
The text from Genesis is the conclusion to the story of the rise of violence, the Great Flood, and God’s rescue of Noah and the creatures. And here at the end of the story, God makes a covenant with the Earth, never again to destroy life on the planet. God says, “I have hung up my bow”. God hung up his bow—the bow, a symbol of warfare and violence and killing. “I have hung up my bow in the clouds,” said God, and whenever we see the rainbow in the clouds after a fearsome storm, we can remember the day God said, “never again shall I destroy what lives on the Earth.”