God is with us in Word and Sacrament

The True Meaning of the Rainbow

What follows is a copy of a Letter to the Editor submitted to the local paper for publication.

The True Meaning of the Rainbow

It’s that time of year when the rainbow is everywhere. It’s on flags and signs, shirts and hats, stickers and flyers, in store windows and on merchandise. It’s everywhere. It’s everywhere because June is the month the world celebrates LGBTQ+ Pride, and the rainbow has been adopted as the emblem of that pride.

But before the rainbow was a symbol of pride, it was God’s sign of promise. The first rainbow and every rainbow after it was God’s reminder to us that He promised never to flood the earth again because of mankind’s sinful pride. 

In Genesis Chapters 6–9, Moses records that the pride of mankind had moved God to start over with humanity. He regretted making mankind. God sent a world-wide flood to wipe out the proud and raise up the humble. Noah and his family, who humbly believed God’s word, found favor in God’s sight. So, God commanded them to build an ark big enough to hold not only the animals of every kind to replenish the earth, but enough room for anyone who heard the word of Noah and repented of their pride could also find refuge from the coming flood. 

Ultimately, only Noah and his family, eight people in all, were saved. And when they came out of the ark, God promised that he would never deal with man’s sinful pride in that way again. As a sign of that promise, God put His rainbow in the sky. The rainbow is, and always shall be, a reminder to all humanity of God’s promise. 

The Bible teaches us that our boasting is not good. Pride leads to destruction (Prov 16:18–19). If we must boast, we boast in the Lord and what he has accomplished (Psalm 44:8; Rom 3:27; 1 Cor 1:31; 2 Cor 10:17–18). And this is what He has accomplished: “God loved the world in this way, that He sent is only-begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). God is patient toward us in the death, resurrection, and ascension of His Son, Jesus Christ. His patience is meant to lead us to repentance (Rom 2:3–4; 2 Pet 3:9). For God desires that all be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Tim 2:4). God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and it gives the Spirit and life (John 6:63). 

So when you see the rainbow, remember that it is God’s rainbow—God’s promise to you. Think not of the pride of mankind, but the lovingkindness of God’s promises made and kept in Jesus Christ. This is the true meaning of the rainbow. Immanuel Lutheran Church, Tuscola, will have on display a picture of God’s rainbow that reminds us of this promise. And we invite you to come hear the promises of God in Christ Jesus on Sunday mornings at 9:00 AM.


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