For the past several days, we’ve been focused on the story of Jesus’ baptism. It’s a story that involves water, the word of God, and a dove. These three also appear in the flood story told in the book of Genesis.
God speaks to Noah and says, “Build a large boat, so that you and your family, along with every kind of species, may be saved.” Noah obeys, and the flood comes. When the rains had stopped, Noah let a dove fly free. The dove found no place to land, so it returned to the boat. Seven days later, Noah again sent out the dove. This time it returned with an olive branch in its beak; the flood waters were beginning to recede. Seven days later, the dove again went out, and this time it did not return; it had found a place to land.
The dove has become a symbol of peace. In the story of Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit descends on Jesus like a dove. Thus we might say, “In Jesus, we see God at work, making peace between God and people, as well as calling us to work for an end to conflict.”
Gracious God, you desire that we live peacefully with you and with one another. Send your Spirit upon us, that we may follow the way of your Son, the Prince of Peace. Amen.