Last we heard these readings, the world was one year into a global pandemic. For many of us, it felt like we had been stuck in an ark all year while everything outside sought to destroy us (remember murder hornets?). In the midst of that chaos that Sunday three years ago, I’m pretty sure many of us weren’t buying God’s covenant so persistently announced in today’s first reading.
Nevertheless, that’s the beauty of a covenant, especially one by God. I don’t need to believe it, keep it, or even trust in it for God to be faithful to it. Neither I nor the world need be perfect for God to be true to what Jesus preached: The kingdom of God is at hand.
God will never abandon us, because covenants do not bind precepts or ideas but the covenant makers, one to another. So do not fear the storms (or the murder hornets), for not only the rainbow but also the clouds mean God is near. And in Jesus, the new covenant, God is with us—all of us—until the end of the world.
Our role in the covenant, then, cannot be to sail merrily along, waiting out the storm. Instead, let us use this Lenten flood to learn how to live with and love those God has bound us to within this earthly ark.