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Thanksgiving and the 1st Church of Noah

Noah seems a good person to say something about at this time of year. This is one of the busiest travel times of the year and whatever else Noah was – he was a traveler.

Now the ark was sort of like the church – those who were in the ark had taken God at His word about the judgment to come and thrown their lot in with Him, while those outside the ark decided to take their chances on their own. The ark was in the water but not of the water as the church is in the world but not of the world.

But it was a different church.

The 1st Church of Noah was a traveling church; they had kind of a floating membership. The congregation was small in number (eight people), but they had a petting zoo. Church started early and it ended late. They went in one day and didn’t come out until one year and ten days later.

Now although eight people and zoo’s worth of animals all sharing a boat together for over a year sounds like a bad idea for a reality show, it was real life. More important to us, it was a demonstration of real faith.

The Hebrew writer says that Noah built the ark by faith. He believed in doing what God told Him to do. He believed that there would be a flood and everyone who wasn’t in the ark would perish. And he acted upon what he believed.

And because he believed, he and his family had a future. Faith has a future, doesn’t it? Everything has a past, but faith has a future. When you gather around the table tomorrow with your family, it would be good to remember that we have a future that’s out-of-this-world. If the present is pretty good for you, it instantly becomes better when you know you have a future. If the present is not-so-good, it becomes bearable because you have a future.

I imagine there were some wonderful times in that ark. They probably sang songs, played games and had a great time. I imagine there were some difficult times too. They just got tired of being in there, weary of routine and hungry for the feel of earth beneath their feet. They just wanted to go home.

We don’t know where the ark started from but we know where it ended up –“in the mountains of Ararat." It’s that way for us as well. We may not know where we started but we know where we’ll end up.

We have faith and faith has a future.
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