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  • Writer's pictureMark Bocanegra

What does the 'rainbow' have to do with missions?


Our second daughter, Nina Sakura Bocanegra, was born on 11/16 at 1:38am at 3620 grams after 15 hours of labor. Like with Kate Sumire Bocanegra, we chose an English name that could be pronounced in Japanese and a Japanese middle name that represented a traditional Japanese flower. Also, like Kate, Nina’s name is based on a biblical covenant--the Noahic Covenant. (Kate’s name is based on the Covenant of Works!)

Nina's Japanese characters are 虹愛 (にいな)which means "the love of the rainbow" referring to the Noahic Covenant in Genesis 9. The Rainbow, or the Noahic Covenant, may not be a 'salvific' covenant, but it is a covenant that represents God's steadfast patience and forbearance to all sinful people and also the reason we can do missions.

Although the entire humanity deserves eternal wrath right now at this moment, God forbears and tolerates all of humanity (Gen 6:5-6, 8:21). On top of that grace, Genesis 9 shows God entering into a promise that God will not execute any kind of temporal but comprehensive judgment (e.g. Flood) until the Last Day of judgment (Gen 8:21-22). This covenant was not just with the people of God, but with all the creatures of the world (Gen 9:9-10); it’s purpose was not to give them eternal life but to preserve them temporarily from eternal wrath and allow them to live abundantly on earth (Gen 9:1-11). Some have called this covenant, the covenant of common grace.

Although some believe that the rainbow represents a bow at rest representing peace, it is more likely that the rainbow represents a 'dome' that protects sinful humanity from the descent of God's flood-like wrath from the heavens (Cf. Sacred Bond. But why does God create this 'dome' for all of humanity? In order that he can send the Ultimate obedient Noah (ie Jesus Christ) (cf. 2Pet 2:5), build the Ultimate Ark (ie the Church/body of Christ) (cf. Isaiah 26, 1Peter 3:18-20) and gather all types of people from the ends of the Earth (missions) to save them from the Last Judgment (Cf. Matt 24:31, 2 Pet 3:1-13). If God was constantly judging the world, he could not enact his redemptive plan for his people. Now, because of his forbearance, God has already sent Jesus Christ and built the Church for us. God can send the last judgment at any moment. The only thing that is preventing his coming is the 'dome' that is staving off the Ultimate Flood--the judgment of fire.

Therefore, the Church does missions under the “love of the rainbow”--gathering people from all the ends of the Earth into the Church before the rains come. Although the whole world mocks at the giant Ark that awaits for the Last Judgement and God's passivity in judgment, it is because of the "love of the rainbow"--God's forbearing and patient love--that we have time to share the good news to our family, friends, loved ones, and our neighbors near and far.

We pray that Nina would be reminded of God’s forbearance and love towards his enemies and those who persecute you because this is what God and His Son, Jesus Christ did (Matthew 5:44-45). Also, we pray that she would look to her Ultimate Noah, Jesus Christ, to preserve her from the wrath of God and be faithful to all to enter the Ultimate Ark, the Church, before the doors are shut (Cf. Isa 26:20).

2 Peter 3:1-13

3:1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2Pet. 3:8 But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.

2Pet. 3:11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

(Megumi told me this was an intense introduction to Nina’s name! My apologies :) My defense is that the rainbow is a pretty intense covenant sign…)







2Pet. 3:1 愛する人たち。いま私がこの第二の手紙をあなたがたに書き送るのは、これらの手紙により、記憶を呼びさまさせて、あなたがたの純真な心を奮い立たせるためなのです。 2Pet. 3:2 それは、聖なる預言者たちによって前もって語られたみことばと、あなたがたの使徒たちが語った、主であり救い主である方の命令とを思い起こさせるためなのです。 2Pet. 3:3 まず第一に、次のことを知っておきなさい。終わりの日に、あざける者どもがやって来てあざけり、自分たちの欲望に従って生活し、 2Pet. 3:4 次のように言うでしょう。「キリストの来臨の約束はどこにあるのか。父祖たちが眠った時からこのかた、何事も創造の初めからのままではないか。」 2Pet. 3:5 こう言い張る彼らは、次のことを見落としています。すなわち、天は古い昔からあり、地は神のことばによって水から出て、水によって成ったのであって、 2Pet. 3:6 当時の世界は、その水により、洪水におおわれて滅びました。 2Pet. 3:7 しかし、今の天と地は、同じみことばによって、火に焼かれるためにとっておかれ、不敬虔な者どものさばきと滅びとの日まで、保たれているのです。 2Pet. 3:8 しかし、愛する人たち。あなたがたは、この一事を見落としてはいけません。すなわち、主の御前では、一日は千年のようであり、千年は一日のようです。 2Pet. 3:9 主は、ある人たちがおそいと思っているように、その約束のことを遅らせておられるのではありません。かえって、あなたがたに対して忍耐深くあられるのであって、ひとりでも滅びることを望まず、すべての人が悔い改めに進むことを望んでおられるのです。 2Pet. 3:10 しかし、主の日は、盗人のようにやって来ます。その日には、天は大きな響きをたてて消えうせ、天の万象は焼けてくずれ去り、地と地のいろいろなわざは焼き尽くされます。 2Pet. 3:11 このように、これらのものはみな、くずれ落ちるものだとすれば、あなたがたは、どれほど聖い生き方をする敬虔な人でなければならないことでしょう。 2Pet. 3:12 そのようにして、神の日の来るのを待ち望み、その日の来るのを早めなければなりません。その日が来れば、そのために、天は燃えてくずれ、天の万象は焼け溶けてしまいます。 2Pet. 3:13 しかし、私たちは、神の約束に従って、正義の住む新しい天と新しい地を待ち望んでいます。


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