8 Again, God said to Noah and his sons:
9 I am going to make a solemn promise to you and to everyone who will live after you. 10 This includes the birds and the animals that came out of the boat. 11 I promise every living creature that the earth and those living on it will never again be destroyed by a flood.
12-13 The rainbow that I have put in the sky will be my sign to you and to every living creature on earth. It will remind you that I will keep this promise forever. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, and a rainbow appears in the sky, 15 I will remember my promise to you and to all other living creatures. Never again will I let floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the sky, I will always remember the promise that I have made to every living creature. 17 The rainbow will be the sign of that solemn promise.
Genesis 9:8-17 [Contemporary English Version]
No matter where you walk around St Neots, and I gather the same is true throughout the land, you can see rainbows everywhere. Children, across the nation, have created rainbow images in crayon, paint, chalk and even Lego blocks.
As I see these rainbows, in every street, I have to wonder how many children, and even adults, in our country realise that our understanding of the bow in the sky as a sign of hope comes from the biblical story of Noah in the Old Testament.
Time after time the human race has been faced with situations that have threatened to undo us — floods, famines, earthquakes, plagues and wars. Time after time we have had to pick ourselves up — rebuild, begin again, find new ways, and create new defences.
At times like this we need a symbol of hope to lift our spirits and give us courage to carry on and look forward to a brighter day. In my view, there is no better place to find that symbol than to turn to the scriptures and the covenant that God gives to us — the solemn promise that God will help us find our way to a new beginning.
The rainbow and the cross are symbols of our faith, an affirmation of our belief in resurrection and God’s power over evil and death. As we face these difficult days let us cling to these symbols that give us hope for the future.