The Mystery of the Pigeon Code
“I have become its [the gospel’s] servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fulness—the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.”
Colossians 1:25-26 (NIV UK)
In our modern age of smart bombs and unmanned drones, it may seem hard to believe that once the most effective unmanned flying machine was the humble pigeon. Because these birds could find their way home over long distances, they were used during World War I and II as a highly accurate way of carrying coded messages.
Last year, one of these messages was discovered in a canister attached to the leg of a dead pigeon which had become stuck in a chimney. The message, which has 27 five-letter code groups, is said to be impossible to crack without its codebook.
There is something fascinating about messages, isn’t there? Some people seem to think the Bible is just as mysterious as the code found in the chimney, containing top-secret information that must somehow be unravelled so the real truth may be known.
Ever since the scriptures were written, scholars have pored over them, in search of a better understanding of God’s will. These studies left them with many unanswered questions. This is what Paul was referring to when he wrote to the church at Colossae that the word of God was to some extent “a mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations.” He then says, it is secret no more. “I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fulness” (Colossians 1:25-26).
The mystery has been revealed—God has come to us through Jesus. Jesus himself told the biblical scholars of his day, “You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is these that bear witness of me; and you are unwilling to come to me, that you may have life” (John 5:39-40).
Experts may never decipher the mystery of the Pigeon Code*, but with Christ as our key, there’s no mystery left in the message of the Bible.
Holy Father, you have revealed to us the greatest mystery of all: that it is in Christ Jesus that our future lies. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Study by Joseph Tkach
* The message has now been partially decoded. It contains information relating to German tank and artillery positions. Editor
About the Author: Joseph Tkach is the President of Grace Communion International (the Denominational name of The Worldwide Church of God UK), and resides in California, USA. You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.