Notes for sermon for Family Eucharist with Baptism, St James, Colwall, 22 May 2011

Season: Easter 5

Readings: Genesis 7:23 - 8:2 and 8:6-18  + John 14:1-6 Theme: The way, the truth and the life

What can we learn about the Christian life from the story of Noah?

It is a source of comfort, hope and even amusement – children love it, so it’s a good bit of the bible to start with. Two particular incidents come to mind:

Tom and the Dove - when re-enacting the story of Noah to comfort a small son who was afraid the torrential rain was never going to stop, his favourite part was hurling a toy stuffed parrot (we hadn’t got a dove) into the air, accompanied by the injunction from me; “That’s a bird, not a brick!”. It worked!

Finding poems and stories about Noah, I can across a website with a page called “All I needed to know I learnt from Noah” – some extracts:

What about the Christian life?

WAY - Christians are “people of the Way”

TRUTH – recognising God in the world

LIFE – God’s gift and goodness to us

In the baptism today, we launch a new Christian on the true way that leads to full and complete life, not a little ark alone on the water, but part of a great fleet, which, with God’s blessing and the power of his Holy Spirit, is setting sail for heaven.


All I need to know in life, I learnt from Noah:

A favourite story:

A man was trapped in his house by rising floodwater (not unfamiliar these days). But he trusted in God and prayed to the Lord to save him. Presently his neighbours rowed by in a rowing boat and offered to take him on board. “No, no,” said the man, “I’m praying to the Lord. He’ll save me.” The water rose ever higher and the man was trapped in the upper storey of the house. Presently along came a motor boat manned by the Inland Waterways Rescue team. They offered to take him on board. “No, no,” said the man, “I’m praying to the Lord. He’ll save me.” Finally the floods got so high that he had to climb out onto the roof of the house. Eventually the Air and Sea Rescue helicopter spotted his plight and winched down an officer to rescue him. “No, no,” said the man, “I’m praying to the Lord. He’ll save me.”

Of course, he drowned. When he got to heaven, he was most indignant with God and said, “Lord, I prayed and prayed. Why didn’t you rescue me?!

“Well,” replied God, “I sent a rowing boat, a motor boat and a helicopter – what more did you want?”