3 December 2007

Genesis 6:11-22

"Noah did this, he did all that God had commanded him." (v.22)


Against a backdrop of a world that was against the will of God, Noah did all that God had commanded him. The world was evil, with all manner of things happening, such that God could not tolerate allowing it to continue.

So God told Noah to create the safe haven for his family and the animals - a place of safety for those God had decided were worth saving. Despite a seemingly bizarre request from God, Noah had the faith to carry out the task he was asked to do. We also remember this week that God sent the rainbow to say that the earth would not be destroyed again, and instead, Jesus was sent to save the world.

Today is the International Day of Disabled People. When considering which week I wanted to choose as my contribution to A Word in Time, I asked for either this week or Holocaust memorial week, two important weeks as far as Disabled People are concerned and two that are definitely linked. The horrors of the Holocaust are mainly remembered by the world as the evil done to the Jewish people, however, one fact that is often overlooked, is that Disabled People were also systematically killed. Their deaths even contributed to the Nazis' understanding of how to kill people efficiently.

How much evil has been done in this world, particularly in the last 100 years? Despite our so-called advances in knowledge and understanding, the fights for equality that were particularly visible in the emancipation of women, has much changed?

Noah was commanded by God to take into the ark his family and all the animals of creation. He did what he was told. God knew that he could rely on Noah to carry out the work as well as relying on Noah's faithfulness.

Paul tells the Church in Corinth that the Church is incomplete without all parts of the body represented (1 Corinthians 12). Some of us may wish that God had told Noah to leave the spiders out, but the world would be a very different place without spiders.

Today there is still a question as to whether the Church has understood its role and its responsibility to do what God planned for it. Is the Church a place of inclusion and safety?

To Ponder

Take time to think about how inclusive your church is. What can you do to make it more inclusive?

What recognition do you give to Disabled People? Is it just charity and pity, or is it active involvement as equals?

Take time to remember today those Disabled People and their families that were affected by the Holocaust.

Bible notes author

Helen Tyers

Helen Tyers is a Disabled Person who has a passion for understanding the message of the gospel and the scriptures in the context of the present not as part of our medieval past. The scriptures, along with the works of the early fathers and the Church through history should be embraced to help us understand the changing relationship we have with God and how God changes the response to us with the same message.