Advent Devotional: Day 3

By: Jeremy Gudauskas, Associate Dean of Students, Alumnus, Class of 1999

Scripture: Genesis 9:12-17

Theme: #Sign

During a rainy, overcast day at my six-year-old son’s baseball game this summer, the action on the field was suddenly interrupted.  The hitter, looking like The Babe calling his shot, pointed his bat toward the center field sky as the sun emerged behind him.  Heads swiveled, jaws dropped, and murmurs of awe and wonder were whispered across the diamond.  A magnificent rainbow had appeared on the horizon.

In reading the account of God’s covenant with Noah, we think about what it might have been like to see the rainbow for the first time with childlike amazement.  Not simply the sheer physical majesty of the vibrant arc, but the underlying promise that was given with it.  “Never again.” Noah and his family had just witnessed the violent wrath of God inflicted upon his rebellious creation—scenes of death and destruction the likes of which are not quite captured in our children’s literature.

The Hebrew word for “bow” in this passage “qesheth” means a war weapon, a bow meant to destroy. God, in essence, informs humanity that he is hanging his bow in the sky, never to wield it in such a way again.  It’s a revelation of his mercy (not getting what we deserve), and even of his grace (getting what we don’t deserve).  This sign given to Noah was a foreshadowing of God’s ultimate rescue plan—another divine promise made tangible through the birth of a baby.


God, as we anticipate the celebration of our Savior’s birth, may our youthful eyes get distracted by both the physical and spiritual manifestations of your mercy and grace, and may our lives refract the true colors of the season. Amen.


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