Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 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. Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.
Unlike the descending dove often associated with the Holy Spirit and the baptism of Christ, the dove with an olive branch in its mouth references the story of Noah’s Ark. Specifically, this dove image points to the fulfillment of God’s promise that the waters would subside and Noah and his family would be able to start anew. It is seen as a symbol of peace and hope.
Merciful God, we are grateful that You keep Your promises. You have provided for us throughout our days and continue to shower us with blessings. Help us to be mindful of Your grace, generosity, and love. Guide us to be Your peacemakers in this world and help us to celebrate the hope that can only be found in relationship with You. Amen.