1st Sunday in Lent February 22nd
Rev. Larry Donohoo Seminary Professor
Under The Rainbow
“I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant
between me and the earth.” Gn 9:13
While vacationing in the Rockies many years ago, I saw, after a sky-cleaning storm of great intensity, the most lustrous rainbow of my life. Despite what they say is impossible, I walked to this rainbow’s end and stood inside it, and the pot of gold is still there in a lasting memory of hope. Après le déluge, the rainbow teaches us, there is the clear light of sky glory. This is why we look for the celestial prism during a sunlit rainfall and rejoice to see this lining to the clouds. The rainbow appears as well in our first reading in this First Sunday of Lent. And so this season, marked by repentance and discipline, is colorfully painted with a statement of hope in the arc of Noah’s rainbow. Lent is enclosed by this larger brilliance because divine love and mercy must form the context for any program of reform. It is because God cares about me deeply that I care enough to prepare for Him. The fear of the saint, to which I aspire, is that of disappointing the One who has invested so much in me. The nature of this investment is seen just before the end, just before the Easter rainbow, when the storm was most intense, when “the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were opened.” This investment is found at the start of Mark’s Gospel, just eleven verses in when Jesus was driven by the Spirit into an intense battle with Satan. So our Divine Pioneer is found at the beginning and end of Lent as a vulnerable warrior and wounded Savior. As the one who walked the storm. And as the Light of the World who is the Alpha and Omega of our journey, and will guide us through our Lenten season and the storms of life.
Lord Jesus, accompany me through the desert of Lent, so that all my acts of fasting, prayer, and almsgiving are impressed with Your love, sustained by Your power, and pointed to Your glory. Amen.