April 21, 2016, 4:25 PM

When Doves Fly

Today the world was shocked after learning of the death of musical icon-Prince. Another shocking death was also learned of today as Joanie Laurer known as "Chyna" in WWE wrestling rings was found dead at her home. Both of these famous people died unexpectedly at fairly young ages.

All day the famous song "When Doves Cry" by Prince has been ringing in my head. I remember listening to the radio for hours while I was in middle school waiting to record the song on to a cassette tape. My “mix tape” just wouldn’t be complete without that song. Looking back, I probably didn’t even understand the lyrics at that time. It was just a cool song.

When I thought of the words “doves” and “Prince” today, the “preacher brain” started spinning in high gear and a sermon was conceived and will now be delivered. Rather than a sermon, it’s just really some thoughts on Biblical truths that have lessons for us all.

In the Bible, the dove is the symbol of purity and harmlessness (Matthew 10:16). All four Gospel accounts refer to the baptism of Jesus by John at the Jordan river. In Luke’s account, the Holy Spirit took on physical form as a dove. It came to signify that the Spirit with which Jesus would be endowed  would be one of purity and innocence.

The dove is also mentioned from the account of the Flood and Noah’s ark in Genesis 6-8. The dove was sent out by Noah to see if there was dry land, and it returned with an olive branch which is a symbol of peace. So, it is significant that the Holy Spirit was pictured as a dove at Jesus’ baptism, once again symbolizing peace with God.

In Scripture, Jesus is referred to as the Prince of Peace in Isaiah 9:6. When you look at our world full of violence and war, you may not understand this. This isn’t physical safety or political harmony. The Hebrew word is “shalom” which means calmness and tranquility. The deeper meaning is the spiritual peace and harmony brought about by Jesus reconciling us to God by his work on the Cross. In our sinful state, we are enemies with God (Romans 5:10). Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we are restored to a relationship of peace with God. We can have both peace with God and the peace of God because of the work of the Prince of Peace!

I don’t know much about Prince’s personal life or his relationship with God. I do know that Joanie Laurer struggled with drugs and alcohol and even admitted that her life “was spinning out of control”. Sadly, she represents so many in this world who are searching for true, lasting peace that even fame and fortune can’t bring. The things of this world may satisfy temporarily but will always leave you looking for more. True peace is only found in a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Both of these famous people teach us a very important lesson today. Life is short and death is sure. Death is no respecter of rich or poor, famous or unknown, young or old. The question we must all answer is “do I have the peace of God that can only be found in Christ, and do I have peace with God with my sins forgiven and my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life?” The Prince of Peace is here for you today and peace with God is possible just as sure as doves fly.

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