Today’s devotion comes from Stuart Finlayson.

Read Genesis 8

As we begin our eighth week under lockdown, I think it is fair to say that many people are asking, “When is this going to end?”
You might be thinking that surely we can’t be kept inside for much longer, but in reality, what will it mean when we do venture out into the world again?  Clearly there have been some conflicting messages across UK governments. I’m not at all surprised really because this virus has affected the constituent nations very differently and at very different rates.


So when is the right time to re-emerge?

Genesis 8 it gives us an example of what it was like for Noah and his family in the Ark as the waters had covered the Earth with 150 days of rain. After such a long time, they would also have been feeling the strain, wondering when they would be getting out of the ark; their ‘life preserver’.  It was the floods that were doing the damage.

So God remembers Noah and his faith and with that he sends His Spirit in the form of a wind to push back the flood water. They begin to recede, but they recede ‘steadily’. They didn’t disappear overnight, they took some considerable time to move back and eventually the Ark settled on the mountaintop, probably stopping quite suddenly and dare I say it dramatically. But the water was still there. More time passed before the tops of the mountain became visible. I can imagine the sons of Noah Asking their Dad if they could just go out on the top of the mountain for a little while, to stretch their legs maybe, saying, “We promise to be safe.”
But they don’t leave the ark. Another 40 days pass before Noah decides that some analysis/research must be done in order to determine when they can leave their life preserver. Four times he sends out his chosen instrument, his research team, before he knows that it was safe to leave. Even after this solid proof from the dove, many more weeks pass before finally God himself gives the command to come out of the ark.

By this time God doesn’t allow just Noah to come out, he says take everyone with you, your treasured possessions, your family and the means to repopulating the Earth. All faithful believers in God, in other words the church. On emerging from the Ark the first thing that the Church does is build an alter. I wonder what the church will do when we can leave the ark. I hope we too praise God.

As we try and find a way to re-integrate into this world, I pray that we and our leaders have the patience, the discernment, and the courage to make the big decisions concerning our movement at the time that is right for us all.  I’m sure Noah and his family wouldn’t have relished being locked up in the ark for so long but it was inside the ark they were safest and it was there they could discern Gods word more clearly until the time came to reappear in a world that probably looked the same but in reality was very different indeed.
 
May Gods Spirit guide us as we try to find the right time to emerge from our own ark and may we listen carefully to what he is saying in all of this. 
Amen.
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