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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: February 20, 2024

It’s a beautiful word of comfort that the dove gives to Noah when she returns to the ark with a freshly plucked olive leaf. Vegetation is sprouting. Life has returned to the earth, which means the era of God’s wrath and destruction has ended and the era of new life has begun. So Noah waits another seven days, that is, the number of days of the first creation, and then sends the dove forth again. He sends her forth into the new creation and she does not return.

Noah wouldn’t see the dove again. But we do. We see the dove in the baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ. We see the Holy Spirit descend on Christ as a dove, marking Him as the fulfillment of the promise given in the first dove. As the voice of the Father identifies Jesus as His beloved Son, we see that Jesus is the one showing us the freshly plucked olive leaf waiting for us in the waters of baptism. There Jesus shows us the new creation He has placed inside the font. He’s showing us that just as the waters of the flood destroyed the wicked of the world and brought Noah and his family into new life, so the waters of baptism will destroy our sin and deliver us into the kingdom of God, making us a new creation.

So while the dove didn’t return to Noah in his earthly life, in the waters of baptism, the dove returned to you. There, in those waters, you have put on Christ and received His righteousness. In those waters, your sins have been drowned forever, buried in a watery tomb that will never be opened. There in those waters, you were washed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ, in His bloody death and glorious resurrection. In those waters, new life sprouted up within you. And now the Dove of God invites you to leave the ark with Him, to follow Him into the eternal embrace of your Father in heaven.

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