Feathered Friend Brings Message of Hope in Pentecost season

A bird recently built a nest in a tree just outside the back entrance to the sanctuary of Jurong Christian Church! Excited JCC members flocked (pun intended) to catch a glimpse of this feathered friend.

It was a dove, so peaceful in its nest!

Some may call it a pigeon, but the difference in terms is not crucial. According to YouTube video from birdlife.org.au, pigeons and doves actually belong to the same bird family. The terms seem to have more to do with language origin than any biological distinction. “Pigeon” comes from French, while “dove” has Germanic roots. (By the way, both are called 鸽子in Chinese. Also, in Hebrew, the same word is used for both.)

The excitement surrounding the nesting bird stemmed from its symbolic significance. In Christianity, the dove is a powerful symbol.

In the Gospel of John (1:31-34), the Holy Spirit descending on Jesus at His baptism is described as taking the form of a dove. This event signified Jesus’ chosen role and the enduring presence of the Holy Spirit in His ministry.

The dove also carries a message of hope and new beginnings. Remember the story of Noah’s Ark in Genesis (8:11), where a dove returned with an olive branch, signifying the receding flood and a chance for humanity to rebuild.

The timing of the bird’s nesting coincides beautifully with the Pentecost season, a Christian celebration of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon Jesus’ apostles (Acts 2). While not explicitly mentioned in Acts, the dove imagery is firmly linked to the Holy Spirit through the story of Jesus’ baptism.

Therefore, for JCC members, the bird nesting peacefully in the tree is more than just a feathered visitor. It’s a beautiful reminder of the peace and hope that the Holy Spirit brings. As Pentecost season continues, let us all reflect on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and how they can guide us in our daily lives.

May the serenity of the dove inspire us to find our own peace and sanctuary in the presence of God.

John Lee

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