Aaron Jenkyn of Epiphany & St Andrew’s Episcopal in Newport, NH
Messy Adventure #2: Rainbow Connections
Four months have passed since March when Covid-19 first emerged and we all began the days of staying home. We are more mobile now, but for some of us, especially those that work in schools or churches, when we change our calendar in a few days, we will be tearing off the untouched pages from spring and early summer. Some days it feels as if time has stayed still, but for most of us this has been a turbulent time of isolation and uncertainty and not knowing when things would end.
During these days of uncertainty I have been thinking a lot about the story of Noah in the days after the flood when he was waiting for the waters to go down. Most of you will know this story. A very long time ago God saw all the violence and pain and hatred of the world and groaned in sorrow. So God made a plan and whispered it to Noah, and Noah and his family built an ark and they filled it with the animals of every kind and seeds of every kind and plants and trees. And then the rains started and didn’t stop until creation was undone. Noah and his wife and the animals were safe in the Ark, safe but afraid because the world they knew was gone. This whole time Noah and his family had to wait, even after the rain stopped falling they waited, sending out birds to fly over the earth looking for dry land, unsure of what would happen next.
I wonder how Noah and his family spent their time inside the ark? I wonder what they were thinking, what they were saying to God? I wonder if they thought about where God was and what God was doing. I wonder how many times they cried out “how long”?
We know the ending to this story, we know that a dove brought back an olive branch and that branch gave Noah and his family hope. We know that when Noah and his wife finally came off the ark that they built an altar and offered gifts of thanksgiving to God. And we know that God looked upon them and promised, never again to destroy life in this way. And as a sign of that special promise, of that covenant, God stretched a rainbow across the sky.
In our own lives this story encourages us to not despair, reminding us to look for the way through the situation, no mater how desperate, to a resurrection truth. We see God wherever we see light and hope during worrying times, and rainbows are a symbol of that hope. I wonder where you might be seeing rainbows these days, where do you see hope?
In the past few months people all around the world have decorated their houses and storefronts with rainbows to thank the doctors and nurses and front-line workers who are working tirelessly to help those in need and keep our communities running. Thousands of people have started sewing masks, delivered meals, and found ways to connect with their neighbors. The outpouring of love and support that we have seen locally and globally brings me hope. We haven’t quite found dry land yet, but the rainbows still stand, and if you open your eyes and your hearts you will see them everywhere.
Read the Story
Before you go Read the Story of Noah and the Flood:
Pay special attention to chapter 8, the time he spends waiting for the waters to recede.
Listen to this Song
Activity #1: Go on a rainbow scavenger hunt!
This adventure can be done in your own backyard, at the park, in the woods, even in the city, I suspect you will be surprised at all the colors around you, when you take the time to stop and notice. You could even repeat this activity over and over and have an entirely different experience just by changing up your scenery.
Pick up a scavenger hunt kit at Epiphany or St. Andrew’s churches, kits are located in bin outside the front door, or you can make your own using a recycled egg carton. Collect found objects, from nature or man made to match each color in your carton. Once you have collected all the colors, sort them into a rainbow on a large piece of white paper.
Activity #2: Write a Rainbow Poem or Prayer
Once all the rainbows have been formed and you’ve had a chance to look at them, write a poem or a prayer about the colors, objects, or experience related to your rainbow. Feel free to write your own poem in whatever form or style you would like, or you can use the simile poetry template included with this activity.
Activity #3: Write a story
Write a story about a time that you saw a real rainbow and share it with your Messy Friends.
Bonus Activity: Fun with Food
Bake rainbow cookies, or create a rainbow themed fruit plate to snack on while you explore. Learn more Here.