My mission center (kind of like a Mormon stake, but geographically much bigger) is now doing church services online every week. I was asked to do the children’s moment for this coming Sunday with the scripture beginning John 20:19, where the resurrected Jesus appears to the disciples and asks them to believe and “Believe” is the big theme for the service, according to the worship helps published by my denomination. These days, I’m never sure what to do with belief. I would have been more excited if the worship helps had identified the theme as “Doubt.” In the scripture, however, Jesus told the disciples to have peace, so that’s what I ran with. There is also a demonstration of how to make origami peace doves.
I want to tell you a story that comes from the Hebrew Bible with some extra bits from my imagination. Our story is about Noah and his boat. Before the pandemic, I did not understand what this story was about, but my recent experiences with quarantine have helped me understand Noah’s story a bit better.
It begins with Noah having to go into quarantine with is wife and his children, his children’s spouses and all of their pets. And it has to be said, they had a lot of pets: dogs, cats, hamsters, lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my, it was a lot.
They all lived on a boat that Noah built. While Noah was building the boat, it seemed like it was going to be a very big boat, with plenty of room for everyone. But the longer that they spent inside it together, the smaller it seemed.
Initially the animals were fun distractions from the boredom of being in the boat all the time. Everyone joined in the fun of teaching the animals to do tricks and run around the boat. Noah even got the lion to jump over eight rolls of toilet paper stacked on top of each other. But eventually those games got old and the cats started hissing at the snakes and the bear snored loudly at night and no one could sleep.
This went on for nearly a year. Noah could not get any peace and he did not know when it would end. Can you imagine it?
One day, Noah was frustrated with all of his family and all of his pets. He tried to get away for a moment by climbing out on the deck of his boat. When he had been sitting on the deck for a while, a dove landed on the deck. This dove was not one of his birds. It must have come from somewhere else. It was the first sign of life in the outside world that he had seen in a very long time. Seeing the dove brought peace to Noah’s heart. This quarantine would not last forever and out there in the world there was new life to encounter and celebrate. The dove became a symbol of peace.
Today I have shown you how to make your own origami peace dove (the video above and the video below demonstrate how to do this). When you look at your dove, I hope that it will bring you peace as you try to be patient with all of the people and pets in your house. Thank you.