After a story on Noah and the Ark with the kids, I thought we’d cap off the rainy morning with an origami activity, but with a Philippine twist.
“Now, we are going to make a bangkang papel, the origami boat that we did in the Philippines,” I said, while handing out loose magazine pages.
“We would race our boats on the roadside, whenever rainwater would come rushing,” I told them while continuing to fold. “Sometimes, the water would really swell and be all over, and you would see fish in the flood too!”
“There’s a lot of water in the Philippines?” a surprised and inquisitive Uri blurted out. Understandable, as his only experiences of after-rain water were mere puddles on gutters and potholes, and no higher than his teeny tiny boots.
The rains had stopped when we finished our origami boats, and the wind had just picked up a steady breeze when we started looking for a puddle. Perfect, the kids can still do boat racing!
One race, two races, three; then, soaked in water, the boats stopped sailing and began sinking. Good thing we made extras, the kids were able to do a few more races before the spare boats broke down as well.
Thinking back on the Bible story we had earlier, I realized how similar the Noah story is to the origami boat: Both start out as interesting, extraordinary and amazing. Great attention grabbers. Sadly also, interest in both dulls as time passes.
To kids, water games are always fun, and the gravity-defying ability of boats (even just paper boats) will always be a cool sight. Even to many of us, adults, the fantasy lures us in, and we are amazed by it. At least a while. But, as it takes in more water, the origami boat is unable to float, and we then lose interest.
The same thing happens to the Noah story, and pretty much all the supernatural accounts in the Bible: the stories break down and lose credibility to most of us as we get older. The so-called science and logic of life takes over, and we become skeptical of them.
So, how does one make sense of Noah and the Ark?
One way to answer this is by asking ourselves if miracles are really possible. Dr. Frank Turek, Christian apologist and author of the book, “I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist” submits that miracles are possible. In fact, Dr. Turek says not only are miracles possible, but the greatest miracle in the Bible has already occurred, and most scientists are affirming it, that is, the universe had a beginning.
“The greatest miracle in the Bible is in the first verse: ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.’” If that verse is true, Dr. Turek explains that every other verse in the Bible is at least possible. Going along these lines, if God created the universe out of nothing, then the miracles and the Resurrection of Jesus, Jonah being swallowed by a fish, and the story of Noah and the Ark, among many other Bible miracles, are quite easy.
Another way is by looking at how Jesus Christ viewed Noah’s story in Matthew:
For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, 39 and they were unaware until the flood came and swept them all away, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. (Matthew 24:37-39)
Ultimately, Jesus died on a cross but bodily rose from the dead, even appearing to so many people at various times (See 1 Corinthians 15:3-8, Acts 1:3), providing undeniable proof that He was who He claimed to be: God incarnate. The linchpin of Christianity, this event is the most historically attested fact in the life of Jesus Christ.
If Jesus Christ then, the author of life and Creator of the universe, affirms the Noah story as real and historical, why shouldn’t we?