In [the ark] only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water, and this water symbolizes baptism that now saves you also. . . .
— 1 Peter 3:20-21

In our reading for today, the apostle Peter mentions Noah and the ark, which we discussed on October 4 (Genesis 8). Do you remember another story this month that also pointed to the ark? In Exodus 2 (Oct. 5), as you may recall, Moses’ mother places him as a baby in a “basket,” and the Hebrew word for that can also mean “ark.” Moses’ mother did this, in faith, hoping that her little boy would escape the murderous reach of Pharaoh, the king of Egypt (see Exodus 1:22).
In the New Testament, the apostle and fisherman Peter states that just as God rescued Noah and his family “through water” while other people were swept away in judgment, Christians are rescued from judgment by Christ’s death and resurrection, which is symbolized in baptism. If believers in Christ are symbolically rescued (like Noah and his family) “through water” (baptism), then what is the “ark”? What is the vessel of God’s rescue for us and indeed for the whole creation? It seems that this would be the church, the community of faith. Remember, baptism places us in the nurturing community of the people of God with its worship, prayers, sacraments, and fellowship. In this “ark” we are on the way to the resurrection and full life in God’s renewed world.

Lord, we praise you for the church, which, though it can be rocked by powerful winds and waves, is nonetheless piloted by you and is the place of your grace and salvation. Amen.

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