Last week, two of our grandsons had parts in the local middle school rendition of “The Wizard of Oz”. Of Kristin’s three sons, Carter, the middle boy, is theatrical and really enjoys participating in the school shows each year. In fact, this is his last year in middle school and this is his third major role in the annual holiday production. His prior credits included parts in Peter Pan and Bye, Bye Birdie!
This year he was Uncle Henry, Dorothy’s uncle who, along with his wife, ran the farm that opens the play. Carter’s younger brother, Cooper, is new to this theatre stuff but decided that he also wanted to join the cast of the the production. It’s his first year in middle school and to be honest, he initially wanted a bigger part than he got. However, as time went on, he really got into it and I think when it was all said and done he wants to do the play again next year. He ended up being one of the Munchkins – the place Dorothy lands when the house drops on the Wicked Witch and Glinda suggests that Dorothy go to Oz. Both boys did well in their respective roles and it was fun to see both of them in the play.
Carter is becoming an old hand at this and it shows. Cooper could have a big future with his classmates as well. We had third row seats and the entire show was about 90 minutes long – without an intermission! The kids worked straight through and the stage crew and set people were also all students. That was pretty impressive to think that the entire thing was done by students.
Of course, there were some really stand-out students who played major roles. The young woman who played Dorothy, as well as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion castmates were all terrific in their respective roles and the audience really got into the story. There were slight deviations from the movie that Judy Garland starred in way back when but the most well known song, “Somewhere, Over the Rainbow” was awesome as well as many of the other musical standards.
It is remarkable to me that every time I hear that song, or references to rainbows in general, I can’t help but remember the importance of rainbows in the Bible. Sometimes, people are surprised to hear that rainbows are mentioned at all, but they are! In fact, three times, depending on the version of the Bible that you are reading. And each time, they are associated with storms or rain. The mentions, appropriately enough, occur before a storm, during a storm and after a storm. By far the most famous reference to rainbows occurs in the book of Genesis after the Flood.
After the ark came to rest, Noah and his family gave thanks to God, built an alter and made a sacrifice to Him. It was in this place and at this time that God entered into a covenant with Noah – commonly referred to as the “Noahic Covenant”. The promise encompassed the commitment by God that He would never destroy the earth again with water.
Moses, the author of Genesis, tells us, in Genesis 9:12-16, “And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
My encouragement this Thanksgiving evening is that we can trust the promises of God. If you ever worry about the earth’s destruction from water, you can rest easy that it just isn’t going to happen again – ever. My prayer is that you will realize that God knows we are going to have storms in our lives, but that the promises of God will prevail and that we will make it through the storms of our lives with God alongside us every step of the way. So the next time you see a rainbow, know that God is watching it from heaven, just as we are from earth! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, a joyous beginning to the Christmas season and a wonderful day in the Lord, grace and peace…