40 days and 40 nights mark the time of preparation leading up to Easter, what the church calls the season of Lent. Rev. Dimock marked the first Sunday of Lent discussing that we as community of faith work at saying NO to temptation by giving up luxuries, but we also start to say YES to God. Lent, I think, is the spiritual “On Season” in the year of the Church, a time of more intense training and commitment through prayer and study before Easter.
Rev. Dimock fittingly in this training plan began by discussing the Covenant that God made with Noah after The Flood. The Bible story tells us that the rains came and it rained for 40 days and 40 nights and one year had passed before Noah, his family and the animals on board the Ark settled on Land. Rev. Dimock reminded us about times when seemed to have God had forgotten us, as Noah and his family had likely thought that God had forgotten them, we were reminded of how painful it can be to feel forgotten. But, we were also reminded that while it may seem that God has forgotten, but He does not stay hidden forever. God revealed Himself to Noah once more establishing His Covenant by laying down his bow and promising that The Flood waters would not return. The rainbow in the sky is the sign of that Covenant. And to this day we find beauty and comfort in the sight of rainbow, marking the end of a storm. The rainbow serves as a reminder that God loves humankind and so, will not despite the wickedness of humanity blot it off the face of the earth again.
I think that reflecting on the Covenant with Noah gives us opportunity to think about times when we have felt that God forgot us but then, after sometime God revealed Himself and showed that He was always with us. Reflecting on Covenants between God and humanity I think is a part of our training plan for the season of Lent, culminating in the New Covenant in Jesus.