a prayer to the Spirit as dove
when Jesus Christ
came up out of the waters of baptism,
the sky lit up with the voice of the Father
and you—you alit on Christ in the form of a dove.
You descended not as an eagle,
powerful and regal;
not as a hawk,
keen-eyed and quick;
not as a sparrow,
flitting to and fro;
but a dove.
You descended upon Christ as a meek bird,
the sort of bird that the poorest of the poor
could afford to offer as a sacrifice,
with wings full of peace and hope, too,
like the dove who returned to Noah
after six straight weeks of unrelenting rain,
with a sprig of olive in her beak,
extending the hope of life once again.
When you alit on Christ at his baptism,
full of meekness and innocence,
you anointed him for a ministry
not of royal power
or military might,
but of humility, hope, purity, peace.
Anoint us with those same gifts,
and send us out wise as serpents
and innocent as doves,
preparing the way for hope and peace.
In the gentle, humble name of Jesus the Son, we pray,