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New Life

Written by Tod and Ana Gobledale
January 25, 2006

Ana & Tod Gobledale volunteer monthly with Earthcare, an environmental group that has tracked the St. Kilda pier colony of Fairy Penguins, just outside of Melbourne, Australia, for 20 years. Earthcare also advocates for the protection of this penguin colony.

 "Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth...Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 98:4,7 (NIV)
"Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy!" Isaiah 52:8 (NIV)

It’s dark! I stumble and wonder what I’m doing crawling around on this old breakwater built for the 1956 Olympics. The city lights shimmer across the harbor, silhouetting luxury yachts. What wildlife could possibly inhabit these slippery rocks a mere stone’s throw from downtown Melbourne?

"Two eggs in a nest!" an excited voice startles me. I eagerly clamber over jagged boulders. There, nestled deep under the rocks, an adult fairy penguin, protector of the roost, stares into my flashlight beam. "Two chicks over here!" another colleague’s voice joyfully proclaims. Marveling, I help weigh and tag the young penguins.

New life! Emmanuel! God with us!

A babe in a manger long ago. A baby penguin in a nest today. Surely God "has done marvelous things." (Psalm 98:1) Seeking out penguins in the Melbourne colony and recording their life stories, I know I am part of an amazing world, God’s world.

The promise of new life and hope revealed in Jesus' birth so long ago enters our world in innumerable ways each day. Each of us, wherever we find ourselves, frequently witnesses new life and hope. Let us keep watch and lift up our voices, together shouting for joy!

Prayer: God, your creation surrounds us. We celebrate the life of Jesus, and the life of all your creatures, great and small. Help us see you anew in each life we encounter today. Amen.
Ana & Tod
Note:  100 chicks have been sited this spring!
The Gobledales serve the Common Global Ministries Board at Churches of Christ Theological College (Seminary) in Australia.  They are accompanied by their 16-year old son, Mandla, who attends Rowville Secondary College, the local high school.  Their 19-year old daughter, Thandiwe, continues her university studies at Pomona College, in Claremont, California.

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