God rubbed his hands in glee. The Flood was over! There were the animals coming out of the ark! There was Noah and his family! And God had a lovely surprise planned for them: something that would be remembered for thousands of years to come.
‘Oh, colours!’ called God. ‘It’s your big moment!’
The colours appeared around God’s throne. But God could see something wasn’t right. Orange was scowling. Red was grumpy. Blue was kicking the floor. Green was in a strop. Yellow had turned his back on everyone else and Purple seemed about to burst into tears.
‘What in heaven is going on?’ demanded God. ‘I’ve got a brilliant job for you to do and you all look like the dog’s breakfast. What’s the matter?’
The first colour to speak was Red.
‘You said you want to put a bow in the sky,’ she said. ‘Well I think it should be red. Just red. Nothing but red. Don’t mess about with this bunch of losers. Make it red.’
‘Why?’ asked God.
‘Red is the boss of the colours. People really notice red. Red is hot and bright – the colour for fire and blood and traffic signs. If you want this bow to be noticed, you need it to be red.’
‘I see,’ murmured God.
‘No! No! No! No!’ squeaked Yellow. ‘Your bow should be a beautiful yellow colour, Lord! Make it as yellow as the sunshine! As yellow as bananas! Make it bright and cheerful and shiny as me! Make it just yellow!’
‘You are very beautiful,’ agreed God.
‘But you’re not as important as me!’ Purple said pompously. ‘Look! It’s obvious your bow should be purple. Purple is the colour of emperors and kings. Purple is the sign of the most important. If you want power, pick pure purple.’
‘I do like purple,’ he said.
‘But you don’t want a poxy purple bow!’ shouted Green. ‘Wheee! Look at me! Imagine a green bow in the sky! Now that would be really wow! Green is so zingy! So fizzy! So fresh! Like a bottle of green limeade sprayed across the sky. Don’t mix me up with these other dull colours – make your bow green!’
‘Oh please,‘ called Orange. ‘It’s so obvious that Orange is the colour you want. Orange like the sunrise. Orange is fruity and juicy and ripe! Make your bow orange, Lord!’
‘You are so, like, unhip, man, ‘said Blue. ‘It is so like, obvious that God’s bow should be blue. Blue as the sea and sky, blue like rhythm ‘n’ blues. Blue like Sonic the Hedgehog blue.
Blue is like the coolest colour in your box, Lord. I just know you’re going to make your bow blue blue blue.’
Instantly all the colours started shouting at each other.
‘Blue is boring!’
‘Red is rubbish!’
‘Yellow is so last year!’
‘Green is gross!’
‘Make your bow red! Blue! Yellow! Orange! Green! Purple!’
God raised one hand and spoke in a voice that no-one could disobey. ‘Be quiet.’
When the colours had settled down, trembling, God smiled at them.
‘You are all just what I want you to be. Each of you does a different job. Without you, I couldn’t give my people a sign of my promise. I need them to know it is a perfect promise for all people of all ages from all countries for all times. And so, my dear, dear colours, I need you all. Please, just for a moment, look at each other through my eyes.
The colours looked at each other and, now they looked through God’s eyes, saw how beautiful each of the others was. With a big smile, they stood together and together counted 3 2 1.
Down below, Noah and all the animals looked up in amazement. There, between heaven and earth shone a radiant multi-coloured rainbow. Red orange yellow green blue purple – all the colours, all different, altogether.
This was a God-given moment and this Year of Young People 2018 is our God – given moment.
This is our chance to discover that the church, like the rainbow is better when all the colours or all the age groups work together to be the best that God has created us to be.
This year we would like to invite you to tell us your ideas of what church could look like in the future.
If you want to perhaps you can say this wee prayer:
Dear God, Help me to look at other people through your eyes, and to see them as you do and help other people to see me the same way.