SERMON TITLE: “Our Covenant with God: Rainbow Covenant”
SERMON TEXT: Genesis 9:1-17
PREACHER: Rev. Kim James
OCCASION: October 4, 2020, at First UMC
On Thursday morning, I went early to McKay-Dee Hospital to get some lab work done that had been ordered by a doctor’s office. I walked into the main entrance, got checked out by the person with the no-touch thermometer, and then went to the registration office. I answered a bunch of questions, handed over my insurance card, got the little plastic bracelet placed on my wrist, and received instructions about where to find the lab. After all that happened, the hospital employee said, “Maybe, before you get your labs done, you should check with your insurance company to make sure our hospital is in your network.”
I do have a different insurance company this year than I’ve had in the past, but it’s a big company, so I couldn’t imagine any problem. But, following his suggestion, I made a phone call before I went down the hall to the lab. To my dismay, I discovered that my new insurance company does not consider McKay-Dee in-network. I was certainly glad that I was learning this information on a day when nothing was urgent and when I had plenty of time to work out another plan. And, fortunately, I hadn’t lost any money. But, I left the hospital without getting my lab work done, and with a feeling that I had somehow been betrayed—like some kind of expectation had been disappointed, like some kind of promise or covenant had been broken.
Our human life is full of those kinds of assumptions, expectations, promises, contracts, and covenants we make with each other and with God. Sometimes our trust is well-placed, and other times we find out later that we should have read more of the fine print. Sometimes we get caught way off guard because—consciously or unconsciously—we have been predisposed to assume certain truths, and it takes a big jolt to get us to see the light about how things really are. Sometimes we may have been dealt a bad hand, and we may never understand why we got the short end of the stick. Sometimes we have to acknowledge that the problem is on our side of the equation. We are the ones who haven’t upheld our part of the bargain.
During this month of October, I want to talk about these relationships of trust, these unconscious assumptions and conscious commitments that we make. Specifically, I want to talk about our covenants with God. Covenant is a big theme in the Bible, and today, I invite you to begin with me by considering the rainbow covenant between God and Noah.