The story of Noah ends with a promise from God to all of creation that God would never again bring destruction in that way again. This covenant is marked with what has traditionally been understood as a rainbow after a storm.
As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.”Genesis 9:11-16
Yesterday didn’t have a rainbow but the colors of the sunrise sure felt like a different kind of one. As I gazed at these beautifully growing colors, I gave thanks for all of God’s promises.
But as I walked I grew sad as I saw water bottles left, trash floating in the water, and other signs that we aren’t taking care of this creation that God has entrusted to us. A covenant is not a one-way contract but something with responsibilities of all. The beauty of the sunrise and then what I saw as I walked (much of which I picked up and threw away) was a reminder to me of my (and our) responsibilities in this covenant. God’s promise endures and so must our commitment not to destroy this wondrous and beautiful creation.