Now, please let me ask you this question. Where would you go to weigh a pie? Well... 'somewhere over the rainbow' of course!!! But seriously... although the 'rainbow' is the focus of this particular blog, first let me share with you something I heard on my car radio some time ago now which gave me quite a shock at the time.
In the midst of extolling the virtues of 'souvenir' shops in museums these days, we were told of a lady who wanted to buy a small necklace for her daughter. She decided on a cross, but asked for one... 'without the little man on the front'. This led me to reflect upon the extent of Biblical ignorance in 2021 and the resultant danger of symbolic distortion.
An example of this type of varied representation is of course the rainbow, a symbol which is seen in a wide range of settings these days. In purely meteorological terms this phenomenon is caused by reflection, refraction and the dispersion of light in water droplets. The result is of course a multicoloured spectrum of light appearing as a circular arc in the sky. But in Biblical terms it's really God's special promise to the world...
'I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be a sign of the covenant (promise)
between me and the earth.'
'Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.'
Over the years the rainbow has been used in a variety of ways. For example, as a...
A SYMBOL OF CONSOLATION
Sir J. M. Barrie, best known as the author of Peter Pan, wrote...
'Let no-one who loves be called altogether unhappy.
Even love unreturned has its rainbow.'
In other words he was saying that it's better to accept the vulnerability of loving someone and risking a broken heart, than never having loved at all.
On the other hand it's also been used with more Biblical relevance as...
A SYMBOL OF ASSURANCE
The Scottish clergyman and hymn-writer of yesteryear, George Matheson, wrote...
'I trace the rainbow through the rain, And feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.'
...reminding us that God's love will never let go of those who have become His people.
But, according to Irish mythology, it's also...
A SYMBOL OF PROSPERITY
A pot of gold is said to be hidden by a leprechaun at the end of a rainbow. But of course such a place is impossible to reach because a rainbow is an optical effect which depends on the location of the viewer. Yet there's another way of looking at this. In becoming a true follower of Jesus we receive wealth beyond anything this world can offer... 'the riches of His grace'... a life of meaning, purpose and direction that money could never buy.
So, whenever we get sight of a rainbow let's remember, of first importance, God's loving promise to the world... and let's teach our children, and grandchildren accordingly!