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God Ate Pigeon?
by Denette Jenkins Fretz
05/21/11
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Years ago, my roommate in the Bahamas backed her vintage 1965 Valiant over a preoccupied pigeon. Observing the pigeon's misfortune, our school's custodian promptly collected, plucked, and iced it--while delighting in his providential dinner. We teachers laughed because: we didn't think backing over a bird was possible, the fowl was "laid to rest" in our staff room refrigerator, and we couldn't believe anyone would eat pigeon...especially a flattened one.

Jesse, my twelve year-old, recently asked over a tri-tip dinner, "Did Jesus eat beef?" My husband and I explained that if Jesus ate beef at all, it probably wasn't often. We reminded him that Jesus' family was poor. Joseph and Mary could not afford a lamb for Jesus' temple dedication, so they offered the alternative--"a pair of doves or two young pigeons.*" Jess cackled, "God ate pigeon?"

The Bible details little of what Jesus ate--bread, fish, wine, and potentially lamb during Passover--so I didn't know how to answer Jesse's question. I pointed out that doves and pigeons were considered "clean" birds, therefore it was feasible Jesus ate pigeon.

The prospect of God eating pigeon unsettled me. Realizing I once mocked a custodian because I considered myself "above" his pigeon entrée, I mentally enumerated Christ's actions that I don't have the humility to emulate. Emmanuel ate with the outcasts of the day and rebuked the "popular" boys. Homeless, the Creator itinerated and often allowed others to meet His needs for food or shelter. Perfection touched leprous hands. The King-of-Kings washed dusty, smelly, calloused feet. And my attitude...

...should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross! (Phil. 2:5-8)

Someday, I'll try pigeon. Right now, I'm attempting to swallow crow.

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*Luke 2:24 (NIV, 1984)




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