Then Noah 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 …
6 At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made 7 and sent out the raven; and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. 8 Then he sent out the dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground; 9 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. 10 He waited another seven days, and again he sent out the dove from the ark; 11 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. 12 Then he waited another seven days, and sent out the dove; and it did not return to him any more.
Doves are among the birds most often mentioned in the Bible. Noah sends one out to see if the land has recovered after the flood. The dove returns when it finds “no place to set its foot” and later does not come back, having found a new home.
In our own time, many bird species are in decline as the habitats that provide their homes are lost as a result of climate change, deforestation and intensive farming.
Intensive farming is associated with hedgerow loss and reduced biodiversity. When you buy fruit and vegetables, look out for produce from less intensive organic or LEAF-certified producers.
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Cecil Frances Alexander (1818–1895)
Look at the birds of the air
Watch – and listen – out for birds today. Bigger cities and changes to farming mean there are many fewer than a few decades ago
|Reflections from the Church House Publishing booklet #LiveLent: Care for God’s Creation – A 40-Day Challenge inspired and informed by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2020 Lent book Saying Yes to Life by Ruth Valerio (SPCK) are copyright 2020 The Archbishops’ Council and used here with permission. Full details of both resources are available on the Church of England website.|
Bible readings are taken from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. All rights reserved.