…and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so, Noah knew that the waters had subsided from the earth.Genesis 8:11
When the dove came back to Noah with an olive leaf in its beak, Noah knew that the flood waters had receded and life on earth could begin again.
The dove has long been a symbol of the presence of God and God’s peaceful kingdom. The Hebrew word for peace is “Shalom,” which involves the total well-being of God’s creation, human, animal and the whole earth.
God’s covenant with Noah involved God’s promise not to destroy the earth again. The rainbow became the sign of that promise. Noah was also called, like Adam before him, to become the steward of a new creation.
Through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, God has established a new covenant of peace with all creation, and we are called to be stewards of that covenant. In the seventh Beatitude (Matt. 5:9) Jesus proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” In this season of Lent, may we all hear the voice of God calling us to become peacemakers of a new creation.
Rev. Doug Hill