Thoughts like these must have stirred in Noah’s mind and heart just before the flood:
Dear Lord God, I have completed the ark as you have commanded. I will not secure the portals until next week, when you have promised to send the rain.
The animals are strangely subdued in a calm sense of what seems like fear. They hear the sounds of others from their families out there; I wonder if they realize they will never see them again.
Oh, how I am likewise afraid, Lord. Can you not find favor on people out there as you have found on me? I am afraid for them, that their end is near.
Bring them to this ark. Let me build another for them. Give them more time. Your wrath has been aroused but I know your mercy is greater. Have mercy on these people.
And if not – if their wickedness has corrupted them and your created world beyond rescue – then let none of my family perish in the floodwaters. Not so that I can keep them for myself but so that they can glorify you and produce a new generation who knows you, worships you and obeys your commands.
Spare these animals so that they can populate the earth with your creative wonder, and keep this ark safe from destruction.
During the journey let me, your servant, act as an example of faith and obedience, even if it means I must give up food, or sleep, or even my life.
If in future times the world’s wickedness ever grieves your heart again, O Lord, do not destroy them but send a deliverer, greater than I, who obeys your commands and can save the wicked whom I cannot. You have faithfully prepared me, my Lord. Except for my own heart that grieves like yours, I am ready for the rain. I am ready to enter the ark. Amen.”
Thoughts like these must have stirred in Noah’s mind and heart. Are you ready for the reign … of Christ and his kingdom when he floods this earth with the grace we remember at his first coming and the glory we anticipate at his second coming?
The season of Advent calls us to make sure that we are ready for the reign of Christ just as Noah was ready for the rain of the flood. Through God’s Word we invite Noah and his ark to our world gone bad and our hearts divided between hope and dread. Come and enter Noah’s Advent ark.
Through Noah’s efforts of faith God did save mankind. God spared Noah’s family and through them God would save the world when a new deliverer would be born, generations later.
Like Noah, Jesus Christ invited people to be saved from destruction by beams of wood lifting him up from the ground.
Like Noah, Jesus Christ was ridiculed and dismissed, but he was not deterred in his obedience to God and, because of it, he saved others. He saved us.
More than Noah, Jesus Christ gave his very life on the cross as payment to God for the sins of all people, and constructed by that cross a new ark with open doors for the good and the bad until he comes again.
This is Noah’s Advent ark, nothing other than the mercy of God.
The mercy of God that gave the wicked world 120 years to turn from evil still patiently waits today, holding off Judgment Day for one more soul to enter Noah’s Advent ark.
The mercy of God that used water as a tool in Noah’s day to both destroy and save now uses the waters of Holy Baptism to both destroy evil and save those who enter Noah’s Advent ark.
The mercy of God that finally put an end to a violent, wicked world will act again soon and at the end of this world with a flood of fire on this planet out of which he will rescue believers from sin and wickedness.
Enter Noah’s Advent ark. Be prepared.
PRAYER: Dear Lord God, have mercy on this world. Let me, your servant, act as an example of faith and obedience. Send a deliverer, greater than I, who obeys your commands and can save the wicked whom I cannot. You have faithfully prepared me, my Lord. I am ready to enter the ark. Amen.
EVANGELISM ACTION: Pray today for someone who is wicked, like Noah prayed for the victims of the flood even though they rejected God. Prayers make a difference! After praying, meditate on this: What would be different in my evangelism if I prayed more often for unbelievers?