At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent forth a raven. It went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the ground. But the dove found no place to set her foot, and she 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 her and brought her into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark. And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth 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 forth the dove, and she did not return to him anymore.
In the six hundred and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried from off the earth. And Noah removed the covering of the ark and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry.
Comment: What joy must have filled Noah’s heart to get a ‘freshly picked olive leaf’! Not a dead one but an olive tree was high enough and out of the flood to have grown new leaves. “we’ll wait a little longer to be absolutely sure”, then he opened the door way and birds flew out snakes slithered, foxes ran, ducks waddled and people followed and they were again on dry land! How long before they make a mess of it again? Or perhaps they’ve learned the lesson!
Prayer: As we begin this New Year, you teach us that turning over a new page isn’t the answer, O Lord.