Harbingers Of Good News

Friday, October 20, 2017
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "All Hail To Thee Immanuel"1 (Lyrics)

I miss my homing pigeons. I miss seeing them flying around the property, walking on the lawn, or sitting on the loft sunning themselves. I miss feeding them twice a day and just looking after them. After we returned from 20 years away from our hometown, I had a good-sized flock of them. I took them out for a fly quite often, and they always beat me home. During those years, we lived on four acres (1.62 hectares) of land on the outskirts of town, but when we moved into town almost four years ago, I had to give them up.

At that time, we put up a bird feeder behind our house, and this year, we have had about five or six doves come to the feeder every day. I started putting feed out every day at 4:30 p.m., just like I did with my pigeons, and as soon as I do, they appear from somewhere.

Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are very abundant here in southern Ontario, Canada. They are beautiful birds to look at, and they are related to pigeons. They look very similar, actually, although they are much smaller.

Doves are mentioned about 50 times in the Bible. In researching the Scriptures, I found such diverse mention of them. In Leviticus, they were to be used as burnt offerings, and in Psalm 55:6, the writer wanted to fly away on the wings of a dove and be at rest.

The first mention of a dove is when Noah wanted to see if there was dry land after the ark had settled on Mount Ararat. He released a dove which came back — a harbinger of new life in a desolate world.

Genesis 8:11 – Then the dove came to him in the evening, and behold, a freshly plucked olive leaf was in her mouth; and Noah knew that the waters had receded from the earth. (NKJV)

But the greatest mention of a dove is at the time of Jesus' baptism. At the Jordan River, John was telling the people that there would come someone far greater than him, when Jesus arrived and asked to be baptized. At first, John objected, but then, he did as Jesus asked.

Matthew 3:16-17 – When he had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (NKJV)

When you see a dove, just remember those wonderful words of Scripture, telling us that Jesus is the Son of God, the Saviour of the world, and reminding us that the power of the Holy Spirit is likewise still available to us today. Doves brought those signs of new life to a desolate world then, and they still speak to us now.

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, we thank You for the words of Scripture which tell us that doves brought good news to Noah and his family, to the people at the Jordan River, and to us right here, right now. We thank You, in Jesus' name. Amen.

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About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Very encouraging, Joel.

    Thanks Joel for sharing this devotional with us. Blessings.

    Hi Joel,
    Good news indeed!

    Thanks for a thoughtful word Joel.

    That’s so cool. I have mourning doves that come and feed on my lawn and the neighbours and it’s so neat to see them. They have always been special to me. Thanks!

    Joel, I really enjoyed your devotional today. What a beautiful illustration of the Gospel! I’d love to hear more about your experience raising homing pigeons; they are such fascinating birds.

    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for this beautiful and most meaningful message. It has touched me deeply.

    Joel – thanks for this devotional. I never before made the association btw mourning doves and the mentions of doves in the bible. Thanks for this. Now when I see these birdies, I will have new biblical references. God Bless you for writing.

    How beautiful.
    Here in iur large urban city there are pigeons all over.
    When I see them, they will remind me of your sharing.
    Thank you so much for inspiration on a heavy workload day.

    Good morning, Joel,
    I live in a new subdivision so do not have many birds about but sometimes I do have doves. Thank you for these thoughts about doves from scripture.
    I often think of your devotionals and am encouraged when I think of your ministry to seniors in a nursing home. Thank you.

    I often have Ring-necked Turtle Doves visit my backyard to feed. They now will come right up to my patio doors, and are not nearly as skittish as when the first came.
    Even though I didn’t know what they were at first they seemed special to me and once I knew they were doves of some kind they have always reminded me of the presence of God’s Spirit in my life. They also seem to appear when I am in need of reminding that no matter what, God’s Spirit is always here with me.
    Thank you for your devotionals. I don’t always respond but more often as not they touch a chord within me.
    God Bless.

    Dear Joel,
    When I was a child, barn pigeons were common on this part of Manitoba. We see them no more. Barns are rare. Grain farming predominates.
    But some mourning doves come to my yard each year. Graceful they are.
    Your devotional reminds me of the grace of God giving us creatures showing us His grace.
    And thanks for reminding us of scriptural mentionings of them.
    God bless you. Keep writing.

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