by Jennifer Morgan
“Hung on the shower that fronts the golden West,
The rainbow bursts like magic on mine eyes!
In hues of ancient promise there imprest;
Frail in its date, eternal in its guise.”
~ Charles Tennyson Turner
There is nothing like a rainbow to make you stop and gaze up in breathless witness of the magnificence of God’s masterful hand, and to remember a promise: “For I will see the rainbow in the cloud and remember my eternal promise to every living being on the earth.” (Genesis 9:17)
I was reminded of this promise recently when viewing a breathtaking photograph taken by a friend of mine in Salt Lake City, Utah. There, just outside her door, was a huge double rainbow hanging over the snow-capped mountain peaks. To personally witness something that majestic would truly be a worshipful experience. A special friend once shared with me her insightful perspective about rainbows. “The next time you see a rainbow in the sky, picture in your mind God cracking the door of heaven open, just a wee little bit, to look down and say, ‘I love you.’ You see, every once in a while, our Father delights his earthly children by sending the rainbow as a reminder of His love, His promise and His presence.” Oh, my heart so loves that description!
Recently, a flight attendant friend enlightened me to an extraordinary fact about rainbows. When we look up at a rainbow, we see a wondrous arch in the sky, but when viewed from the sky, a rainbow is a complete, perfect circle. What we see from the ground has an equal portion that is unseen. My spirit thrilled to the truth that while we witness and delight in colorful arches in the sky, we can be assured that God is eternally there in the unseen portion, faithfully carrying out his promises and will for human kind.
What a wonderful thought to cherish as we begin this second week of the Christmas Season...a Season of Promise. Some 2700 years ago, the prophet Micah foretold God’s promise,“Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are too little to be among the family groups of Judah. But from you One will come who will rule for Me in Israel. His coming was planned long ago, from the beginning.” (Micah 5:2) And the prophet Isaiah pronounced “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)
This week, my thoughts returned to these ancient prophesies as I carefully unwrapped and arranged my beloved nativity scene, and I lost myself in dreams of a dark, cold night in Bethlehem and of a young mother-to-be carrying the Promise of the world inside her. Suddenly my attention was drawn to the twinkling of the lights on my Christmas tree...multi-colored lights of red, blue, yellow and green, reflected in the purple, gold and silver ornaments. Why, there it was...a rainbow of color on my Christmas tree! I knelt down under the tree as a thrill of delight ran through my heart. Of course my tree includes a rainbow, because with these sparkling colors, God joyfully celebrates Christmas with me each and every year, reminding me of His Love, His Promise, and His ever-faithful Presence.
Remember the Promise of Bethlehem and of a Baby, and let it color your heart with joy. Christmas is coming! Believe.
Jennifer Morgan is a published author and long-time Bible study leader. Jenn has served as a lay minister for the Spiritual Care Department of The Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Currently, she is an active member of The Woodlands United Methodist Church. You can connect with her at her blog.