Noah and Jesus

I think it was while I was reading over the psalms, that I had this realization:

Jesus is a sort-of new Noah.

Paul makes it clear that Jesus is the new Adam.

Folks like Rob Bell make it clear that Jesus is the new Moses, leading us out of our own Egypts and into a promised land.

But I’d never much considered it before: Jesus is also a new Noah.

He is the one righteous man in a world gone terribly wrong.  As the world headed toward destruction, Noah was hard at work creating a vessel that would usher the remnants of that old world into a new age.

A time of trial occured, as the world fell apart.  But Noah’s construction did not.  It bridged the world before the flood to the world after the flood.  The occupants on board, they were the seeds of the people that populated that world after.

Metaphorically speaking, we are the animals onboard the arc.  But we are also Noah’s family, and even Noah himself.   Noah spent centuries building the arc.  We have spent milenia building the church: sometimes building it according to plan, and making a thing that will lead us to the next world, other times tearing it down and making it less “sea worthy” than it would have been.

These thoughts brush up against all sorts of areas a bit outside my comfort zone: What about the people not inside the metaphorical new arc?  Doesn’t this just confirm the knuckle-headed premises of escape theology, where people got gleeful about watching the earth go down and use God as their frequent flier miles to get to heaven?

I don’t think that this mind set has to go there.  Despite the dangers it’s a pretty interesting way, I think, of looking at things:

Maybe the most interesting aspect is that it’s just one more example of a place that God gave us a little foretaste of what was coming, thousands of years before it came.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

3 thoughts on “Noah and Jesus”

  1. Maybe all the people are the animals, those believing in Christ are Noah’s family… that all can be saved, they have different levels of understanding, it would only be if they jumped overboard that they really were lost…


  2. i sort of agree with you. Assigning strict parallels would give Jesus “pitch-like” status (Gen6-14) and we would be more like Noah.
    Our faith in Christ is the ark, but it is Jesus who keeps the destruction of the flood waters at bay.

    But that’s just a nit-picky thing. (wouldn’t it be nice if lice and skeeters perished in the flood?)

    i’m a little perplexed at your characterization of people inside and outside of the new ‘metaphoric’ ark. How someone feels about it remains inconsequential to its claims of truth.

    but as you said, we don’t have to go there.


  3. Hello my friends;
    Garret, you bring up an interesting thing… Because we can say, “how somebody feels about x doesn’t change the reality of x”
    But actually, how somebody feels about Christ profoundly impacts the reality they experience, both in this life and the next.

    I know that one response to this is to balk at the word “feels”; the typical modernist/enlitement type says it’s all about thinking, feeling is quite irrelevant.

    In addition to the fact that the whole enlitement mind set is built on the false premise that thought and feeling are easily seperated, I have trouble with the idea that our intellect assent alone is the sole requirement… It seems like this thought has to penetrate our feelings if it is to have any importance at all.


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