God Orders Noah to Leave the Ark, Cappella Palatina di Palermo, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, Tenn.
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Flood and Promise
Genesis 6:16-22; 9:8-15 Commentary
by Kathryn M. Schifferdecker
The new Narrative Lectionary year begins with the familiar story of Noah and the Flood.
This story may bring to mind children’s Bibles and nursery decorations. Somehow the story has gotten tamed over the years so that it seems an appropriate image for a young child’s bedroom. There are night lights, bath toys, blankets, and children’s books that depict the ark as a kind of floating zoo, with happy animals poking their heads out the windows, and a white-bearded, somewhat rotund Noah keeping a benevolent eye on it all.
The seriousness of the story, however, is apparent to those who pay attention. I once heard a pastor talk about the Flood during a children’s sermon. She called the children to the front of the sanctuary and asked them to use their imaginations in thinking about the story: “What do you see? What do you smell? What do you hear?” One youngster answered, “I hear the people in the water outside the ark screaming for help.” Needless to say, it was not the answer the pastor was seeking.
What do we do, then, with this ...
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2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
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The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 324: Flood and Promise
September 09, 2018
Podcast on Genesis 6-9, the Narrative Lectionary reading for Sept. 9, 2018, (Flood and Promise) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.