Reflection, Refraction, and Dispersion

Ordinary Time
February 13, 2018

Scripture Reading: Genesis 9:8-17

God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’ –Genesis 9:12-17

A rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon that is caused by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicolored circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun. *

Most of us who can see know what happens when we look into a mirror. Our image appears. We get a glimpse of how others might see us for good or bad. We see our reflection. If we are indeed made in the image of God what does our reflection tell us about God?

I am particularly thankful for the power of refraction for at the age of 11 I was diagnosed as nearsighted with astigmatism. In later years I added farsightedness to my visual challenges. The art of bending light made seeing more clearly a reality for me. If we saw the world through God’s eyes what would we see?

Light dispersed in water opens new dimensions of understanding of the beauty of diversity forming a union. If we approach the world with wonder rather than fear would we better reflect God?

If rainbows always appear directly opposite the sun, are we rainbows in God’s eyes?

Prayer: Lord, let your light shine in and through us so that others may see glimpses of you in our love for them. Amen.


All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.D