The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
Today is the last day of school for my children! However, the mood is not as celebratory as in years past. Why? Because our community is preparing for a flood. This flood is not a maybe thing, nor are we unaware when it will occur. We know that the Missouri River is rising, and we know that it will be well above flood stage before the weekend arrives. All we can do as a community is prepare, and be ready.
So there is fear, and worry, and also a great sense of everyone pitching in and helping their neighbors.
And yet, we can rest in the comfort that we know exactly who sits enthroned over the flood. Are we alone as we fight this flood? No. Are we alone when we fight the other floods of this life? No.
And then I am comforted by the fact that the very water that has the power to destroy communities is the very same water that is used to grant us life and salvation through Holy Baptism. It gives entirely new strength to the words of Martin Luther, "How can water do such great things?" God continues to save us through the washing and rebirth of baptism, and he will surely be with our community as we fight floodwaters.
A fitting prayer for us all today is one used during the order of Holy Baptism:
Almighty and Eternal God, according to Your strict judgement You condemned the unbelieving world through the flood, yet according to Your great mercy You preserved believing Noah and his family, eight souls in all. You drowned hard-hearted Pharaoh and all his host in the Red Sea, yet led Your people Israel through the water on dry ground, foreshadowing this washing of Your Holy Baptism. Through the Baptism in the Jordan of Your beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, You sanctified and instituted all waters to be a blessed flood and a lavish washing away of sin.
We pray that You would behold us according to Your boundless mercy and bless us with true faith by the Holy Spirit , that through this saving flood all sin in us, which has been inherited from Adam and which we ourselves have committed since, would be drowned and die.
Grant that we be kept safe in the holy ark of the Christian Church, being separated from the multitude of unbelievers and serving Your name at all times with a fervent spirit and a joyful hope, so that, with all believers in Your promise, we would be declared worthy of eternal life; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.