The Dove

doveDay 3

Prayer for the day

I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call upon the Name of the LORD.

Scripture for the day

Genesis 7-9, Matthew 3

I’m not one who reads too much into symbols. However, in today’s reading we see Noah sending his dove out to see if the water is receded enough and the dove does not return. In Matthew, the dove comes back. I know these aren’t the same dove. I know the Holy Spirit wasn’t captive on the ark catching olive branches. I do, however, see a connection. In the Genesis story, the dove is the sign of salvation. The dove shows Noah that God has done what God said God would do. The dove is the sign of God’s action. In Matthew, the Holy Spirit descends on Jesus “like a dove.” Again, the dove is the sign of salvation. The dove shows John (and others) that God has done (and is doing) what God said God would do. The dove is the sign of God’s action, and favour.

The dove in both stories signifies God’s intervention on earth, and God special care of God’s people. As Christians, we’re reminded by both stories that the Holy Spirit dwells in us as a seal of God’s salvation and a sign of God’s presence. What a beautiful thing to revel in this year.

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2 thoughts on “The Dove

  1. both noah and john the baptist prepare a way don’t they? i mean, noah prepares a way for his family and the progeny of the entire planet, and john prepares a people to receive Jesus. The dove then could also mean God’s assent, a ribbon cutting, to the new way of life. Doors are being opened here right? ceremony and sacrifice are being offered and observed in a way that demonstrates a deepening and changing two-way relationship between God and Man. And God is mediating and approving of the relationship as it continues and flourishes. I also see God protecting life… in chapter 9 he gives noah instruction not to eat blood? and not to kill other people… whereas in chapter 3 of matthew God through john gives potentially life saving warnings to the religious leaders “bring… fruits meet for repentance”.

    i like the visible tangible manifestation of God on earth. the idea of a voice from heaven saying Good job is thrilling. i want that kind of affirmation, not that i think i am God’s only son, it would be great though.

    what to make of this “imagination of mans heart is evil from his youth” business i don’t quite know. in vs 21 of chap 8 it’s as though God has reconciled himself to the reality of his creation only after wiping it mostly out. Still this is the God i recognize more somehow, more judicious in his approach. i know God is bigger then my recognition of him… but what kind of relationship can you have with someone who’s character is only semi predictable?

  2. i noticed that God institutes a retributive justice in genesis. human life for human life, and he reaffirms the sacredness of all animal and human life. Noah also curses his son’s entire lineage. in Matthew i consider what John said to the religious leaders about repentance -that they had to bring fruit worthy of it. There are elements of what i would call god’s mercy and judgement in both passages.

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