One of the threads in yesterday's service was about rainbows - how I got there from Jesus sleeping in a boat and Paul's catalogue of character forming suffering is not immediately obvious, and certainly it came via my chocie of 'O love that wilt not let me go' as for post sermon hymn.
Somewhere along the line, it struck me that you can't have a rainbow without rain. Yes, OK, everyone else thinks that's soooo obvious now I've said it, but have you ever thought it? OK, you had, so it' just me. Storms are (part) of what makes rainbows possible: no storm, no beautiful colours in the sky.
Using an electronic concordance and the word 'rainbow' I landed in Ezekiel and found my link: 'beholds, the brightness of God's glory is like a rainbow after the storm.'
Our opening prayers picked up something of this rainbow theme. A quick internet search found a few ideas which I adapted and extended. This isn't great poetry or even great liturgy but hopefully you can see what I tried to do...
Ezekiel 1:22b, 26, 27b-28a
I saw something that was sparkling like ice, and it reminded me of a dome. I then saw what looked like a throne made of sapphire, and sitting on the throne was a figure in the shape of a human. The figure was surrounded by a bright light, as colourful as a rainbow that appears after a storm. I realised I was seeing the brightness of the LORD's glory!
Behold, the brightness of God’s glory is like a rainbow after a storm.
Glorious God we approach your presence in awe and wonder, afraid to behold your face because we know our own unrighteousness. And yet, in mercy, in grace and in tender love you reach out and draw us close, like a mother lifts her child to the security of her lap. And so we bring you our prayers, rainbow coloured reflections of thanksgiving and praise.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all things red – the ladybird’s back and the rose’s velvet petals; the fragile poppy and the sweet flesh of strawberries. For lips to speak and to kiss; for life-blood coursing in our bodies; for hearts of love. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things red.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all things orange – the crunch of carrots and sweet stickiness of satsumas; the marigold’s flower and setting sun’s glow. For tropical goldfish; for wild dandelions; for the warmth of flames and the value of gold. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things orange.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all things yellow – the curve of bananas and the mellow flesh of melons; the fur of the lion and the butterfly’s wings. For golden-haired toddlers; for the summer sun; for sandy beaches and ice-cream cones. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things yellow.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all things green – for tiny shoots peeping through the earth in spring and summer’s tall grasses; for cabbages and broad beans, broccoli and peas. For budgerigars; for traffic lights; for forests and meadows. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things green.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all things blue – for the bright summer sky and the kingfisher’s shiny plumage; for tiny forget-me-nots and mountains streams. For the muted blue of elderly eyes; for the lights on emergency vehicles; for ocean waves and millpond seas. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things blue.
We thank you, oh lord, for all things indigo – for midnight skies spangled with stars, for juicy blueberries; for shiny aubergines. For the comfort of denim jeans; for exotic patterns from far away lands; for mystery and wonder. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things indigo.
We thank you, oh Lord, for all thing violet – for tiny crocuses defying the winter’s cold, for mountains in the twilight, for the scent our grandmother’s wore. For old women who wear purple, and old men who whistle; for evening stillness and morning dew. We thank you, oh Lord, for all things violet.
We thank you, oh Lord, in whom all things hold together, for your countless blessings to us each day. As we offer our rainbow-hued prayers, may we become more aware of your glory surrounding and embracing us, and may our worship be acceptable to you as we offer it in the name of Christ. Amen.