So God said to Noah, “This rainbow is proof of the agreement that I made with all living things on earth.” Genesis 9:17 (ERV)
The Vacant Church
Since July 2017 our church has been seeking a new minister with God’s help. To support and sustain the congregation during this time of renewal and transformation we have created the Rainbow Prayer Tree. The tree is a feature of our sanctuary and during our worship it is a symbol of our eternal hope, the hope promised to Noah in Genesis.
The Rainbow Vision
It is fascinating to consider that a rainbow needs both sunlight and water droplets to exist. Without the two, we would never enjoy the magnificent array of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet in an enchanting spectrum of colour across the sky.
The sun needs the rain to reflect and refract. The rain needs the suns luminance to bounce back through the droplets to finally reach our eyes. A rainbow is a great example of how two completely different components somehow work together to make something beautiful.
Suffering and joy have a unique relationship similar to that of rain and the sun. Both suffering and joy continue because we serve a merciful God and yet we live in this broken sinful world. We believe this is one of the many paradoxes of Christianity. We must die to live, we must be last to be first, we must be poor to be rich, we must be the least to become the greatest. We follow the Lord Jesus who lived, died and was resurrected, a mystery at the heart of our faith.
While you and I might not fully understand the physic which explain how the rain and sun produce a rainbow, nor do we fully comprehend the wonder behind a rainbow, we are certain it is there; a sign of the God of resurrection and new life.
In this season of renewal at St Marks, there may be clouds which threaten to blot out God’s light, seasons which are bleak when the colour of hope feels drained from our horizon and storms heavy with sorrow gather, it is then that we have faith in the creative power of God to take droplets of rain and beams of light; to take our sorrows and our joys; and create a beautiful masterpiece full of colour. This sign of HOPE made visible in the rainbow tree, reminds us of your promise to Noah and all his descendants, a promise for us too, of the light of your presence in our midst.
The Rainbow Prayer Tree
The Rainbow Prayer Tree is a symbol of Hope maintained during our time of vacancy. The rainbow is a visible reminder to us all of the promises of God in Genesis 9:17. The tree reminds us of the new life that springs forth with the new season and formed the wood of the cross of Christ.
Just as we remember the droplets of our sorrows which have now been shed.
We recognise God is light and in him there is no darkness. We have faith in the creative power of God to take droplets of rain and beams of light; to take our sorrows and our joys; and create a beautiful masterpiece full of colour. We will seek to walk in the light and trust in HIM to lead us in this time of renewal and transformation.
The tree began as a bare branch. As the prayer of Hope is shared in each congregational act of worship, a coloured ribbon is tied to the branches. Over time, the tree will continue to grow into our symbol of HOPE as the Rainbow of colour becomes radiant in its branches. All the colours of the rainbow find their unity in God who is light in the darkness. The rainbow is a sign given to us by God of HIS promise and plan for our future.
As we journey the road ahead, we pray for our vacancy committee entrusted – with the congregation’s support – to seeking God’s way for St Mark’s Church in the future. We commit to keeping them and the future of our church at the centre of our community life. As a sign of our faith we will continue to PRAY and make visible in our worship space, the RAINBOW in the branches of our tree, doing this until our fellowship is whole once more and our prayers have been answered by the one God is already calling as our next minister.
Our Rainbow Prayer
God of light, Creator of all things, Sustainer of life,
The Rainbow is a visible reminder to us
of your faithful promise to your people.
The Tree reminds us of the new life
that springs forth with the creative light of each new season.
As we commit ourselves to walking in your ways,
we place our whole trust in YOU to lead us,
in this time of renewal and transformation.
We tie our ribbon to the Rainbow Prayer Tree
as a sign of HOPE.
and we welcome
the one God is calling to our community. Amen.