Sunday, July 1, 2012

The rainbow & the cross at the 220th General Assembly

There was some concern by myself and others that everything to do with communion at the opening of the 220th General Assembly was draped in the rainbow. The dancers, the communion table and even the cross. But several other people (in our little discussion) said that after all it belongs to those who uphold the authority of Scripture and claim Christ as Lord. It is a covenant given to God’s people, symbolized by the rainbow.

So although it might have been a symbol used to point to a denomination filled with a radical diversity, or a pointer to the diversity of God's creation, nonetheless God’s beautiful promise and our circumstances have another meaning.

The rainbow drapery on the cross should remind all that in that cross there is hope for those who are sexually broken. The rainbow in Scriptures is one of God’s pointers to the cross. It is a remembrance of mercy and forgiveness on God’s part. It is God’s gift after wrath, yet it is a remembrance that the flood of water covered sin and killed the sinner. But there is another flood that washes clean and renews and transforms the sinner. That is the blood of Jesus.

If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each ones work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with the precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.” (1 Peter 1: 17-18

Because the LGBTQ community has chosen the rainbow symbol and now it is connected to the cross, as it should have been, they are combined symbols that the Holy Spirit can use to both enlighten and convict the sinner of their sexual brokenness. The Holy Spirit is always wooing us to Christ. The Father is always pleading with us to come to Christ. The Israelites in the desert looked to a bronze serpent and were healed. May the community that we are all in prayer for look to the cross of Jesus understanding that he forgives, saves and transforms.


Dave Moody said...

Amen! 'atta girl Vi!

The signs that symbolize salvation, are those things which judge us. For some reason, and I've not completely worked it out- John 3.17, 18ff and Romans 1 - 'he has left them without excuse' both leapt to mind in reading your post. The very things pointing to God's mercy, being used as license for, well, license...

Thanks Vi!

Kathy Horstman said...

I've had the cheeky thought these past few days at GA to approach one of the folks wearing the knitted rainbow scarves (I refuse to call them stoles) and say, "Oh! I see you're celebrating God's promise never again to judge the sin of the world by a flood!"

Or would it be so cheeky . . . ?

Anonymous said...

Oh, it would not be seen as cheeky. I had someone ask me something like that once several years ago. It was the beginning of a friendship, and a mutual exchange of thoughts and prayers that resulted in my new friend going from being an opponant of GLBT ordination and inclusive Church to being a supporter.

So, go ahead, make the comment, and remember, you will be making it, about a stole (what you refuse to call it is not really relevant...there are no five legged dogs, it is a stole) around the neck of an elder or minister (teaching or ruling elder, call them what one will) in all probability, and as a fellow Christian, that person will happily share and pray with you, and talk about the joy that comes from BOTH of the ways the rainbow is used as a symbol.

No, not cheeky at all.
Regardless of how it might at first have been intended.


Chas Jay said...

From the story of Noah and the flood, God made the promise not to do so again with the rainbow. Following that promise He told Noah and his family to go out unto the world, be fruitful and multiply. Those wearing those rainbow scarves live lifestyles that do not multiply and are in opposition to God.

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Viola Larson said...

I do not allow anonymous comments on my blog.