On remembering not the reminder but what is to be remembered…

[Gen 9:8-17] You promised not to wipe out ALL flesh ever again, O God. You hung up your bow, your capacity to just start over in an instant. Now and then, you remind yourself of this promise with an all-inclusive arc of color in the sky. You hope this reminds us, too.

But we are not reminded.

It is true, you did not promise to never send us reminders of your capacity. While we do deserve the suffering of the reminders, we do not deserve the limits of such reminders.

Yet we are not reminded.

Neither did you withhold allowing us the ability to destroy ourselves and each other, a mere fraction of your own capacity. And because we are not reminded of your capacity and your promise to withhold utter destruction, we take delight and imagine ourselves deserving of the capacity to destroy each other. As if that were a good thing. As if that were something in which to take pride and to defend. As if THAT were the important thing to remember.

You are not amused.

Mercifully, you remind us, nonetheless, that in the beginning of the time when you came into power, you overcame the chaos with order, and it was good. You remind us that in the beginning of the time when you came into power, you overcame the chaos with light, and it was good. You remind us that in the beginning of the time when you came into power, you overcame the chaos with forests and seas and critters and humans, and it was very good.

But we are not reminded.

This year, you have opened us up to a season of remembrance of our dependence on your promise of goodness and mercy with a painful reminder. This year, there are no colorful rainbows in the sky, only red on the tile. This year, you have allowed us a reminder that, truth be told, reflects only a fraction of your capacity. This year, you have shown us a reminder that causes us suffering. A suffering, truth be told, that is only a fraction, an infinitesimal fraction of your own.

 

Will we…this year…be reminded?

 

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