ASBC wandering booklet - Page 36

Sunday, May 24th
Pastor Howard-John Wesley
A Different World - Wandering in the Wilderness Part 6
Genesis 8:6-22
After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth
until the water had dried up from the earth.Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the
ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned
to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven
more days and again sent out the dove from the ark.When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a
freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent
the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. By the first day of the first month of Noah’s six hundred and
first year, the water had dried up from the earth. Noah then removed the covering from the ark and saw that the surface of
the ground was dry. By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry.Then God said to Noah,
“Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. Bring out every kind of living creature that is with
you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be
fruitful and increase in number on it.” So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives. All the
animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on land—came out of
the ark, one kind after another.Then Noah built an altar to the Lord and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean
birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart:“Never again will I
curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never
again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat,
summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
In the midst of the wilderness of the COVID-19 pandemic we realize that we have more questions than answers.
However, there are two things we know for certain: God is with us and our world will never be the same again. This
week Pastor Wesley taught us that a new normal, a “Different World” is being formed. We looked at the story of Noah
to explore how we can adjust to this new world. Noah survives an extinction event when his world is drastically
changed. Extinction events remove our past and redefine what our future will look like. We also learned that Noah
was on the ark not for 40 days, but for 370 days before he emerged into a new world.
As we conclude this wandering in the Wilderness series many of us are thinking about when it will be safe for us to
go back outside and enter our “new normal world.” Just as Noah used practical wisdom and divine discernment we
need to do the same in our current pandemic. “Everything we can do we shouldn’t do” is an important reminder as
we think about exiting quarantine. Pastor Wesley highlighted three signs that indicated for Noah it was okay to leave
the ark:

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