Mount Calvary Family & Friends,
It was an exciting adventure for those of us who were able to make the journey to the Creation Research Society’s “Creation Museum” and “Ark Adventure”. Standing outside the modern replica of Noah’s Ark, it was astounding to grasp just how large it really was! No wonder it took Noah over 50 years to build it! Even at that he must have had help. I suspect that Noah was a wealthy man in his day, but he probably “blew it all” in the eccentricities that led him to construct the monstrosity . . . At least that’s the way it must have looked to community members who were probably more than happy to relieve him of any resources he wanted to spend to build the thing . . . But for Noah, what did it matter? He had God’s Word of warning and that was enough for him. What good would wealth be in a post-Flood world anyway?
It is not unusual to see depictions of the Ark as a fun children’s story about Noah and the animals who survived the Great Flood. But the dark side of the Flood with its devastation that shook our world to its foundations, that side of the story we try to overlook. For God, that’s what the Flood was really all about, holding humanity accountable for sin and making a new beginning for His creation. In Genesis 6 we read, “And God saw the earth, and behold, it was corrupt, for all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. And God said to Noah, ‘I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold, I will destroy them with the earth.’” We don’t know just how many people there were spread across the face of the pre-Flood earth, but we do know that of them all, only 8 survived . . . Noah and his wife, their sons Shem, Ham and Japheth, and their wives . . . every other living soul died. It was such a devastating experience that God set the rainbow in the sky as the sign of His promise that never again will God carry out His judgment in such a devastating world-wide flood.
It all makes me wonder whether atheists and agnostics really understand what they are asking for when they challenge people of faith with the question, “If there is a God, why doesn’t He end all suffering?” People often scoff at the idea of a God who cannot handle the issue. They don’t see that God has already done so once. Fortunately, He has promised not to do it again till the end of the age when Jesus returns in all His glory! The answer to their question is reflected in the judgment of God upon the earth we see in the Great Flood. For God to “reboot” our world and make a new beginning without sin, God would have to get rid of the sinners . . . that includes you and me. After all, God only left 8 people to populate the world the last time He “pushed he reset button” (and those folks were as “righteous” as people come) and see what their descendants have done to the world? The time will come when the last soul to be saved has come to experience God’s grace, but till then God is patiently waiting to give each one of us and everyone around us, plenty of opportunity to come to HIM. If you read quickly through Revelation, you should recognize that the world will again sink deeper and deeper into sin (just as it did in Noah’s day) before God’s judgment falls on the world once again. That day will once again be an awesome and fearful experience for the unbelieving world, but for those who know and trust in Christ Jesus it will be that new beginning so longed for by many.
Till that day comes, the Christian Church is charged with the responsibility to witness to the work of God’s grace in our lives. We are called to be “Noahs” to our world, building an “Ark,” not one of gopher wood to save a sampling of animals and a remnant of humanity. We are called to build an “Ark” of God’s loving care extended to all who will hear and trust in His promises. We are called to carry the warning of God’s judgment and with it the offer of life through the Gospel message of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ Jesus. God’s Word and His Church are our “Ark” sharing safe harbor with us and caring us forward in faith toward His Kingdom. Our “Ark” is big enough for everyone! We are called to share His Word of Promise, God’s Word of hope and life, with anyone who will hear. That’s what our Camp Restore Detroit ministry is really all about. That’s the real purpose of everything we do as a congregation. The efforts we make to work on restoring our City are all about sharing with others around us that God cares and is acting in our neighbors’ lives through us, and in our lives through our neighbors, as we bear witness to one another of God’s grace and love in Christ Jesus! Together, by the power of God and the Spirit working in and through us, we are working to build a future that will endure forever in the lives of others we touch with the Gospel . . . That’s a worthy purpose for our lives and ministry!
May God bless you as you serve Jesus in all you do!
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About The Author
Since 2015, Pastor John Carrier has been Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church's pastor in Detroit, Michigan. He is also the Director for Camp Restore Detroit. Mt. Calvary has a bi-monthly newsletter, which opens with words from Pastor Carrier, called "From The Pastor's Desk..."