Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

Beluga Whales Welcome Lone Narwhal into Their Pod

An unusual visitor has been hanging out in the St. Lawrence River for the past three years: A narwhal, more than 600 miles south of its usual range. But the lone narwhal is not alone—it appears he has been adopted by a band of belugas.

The narwhal was filmed in July playing among a pod of young belugas. The video was taken by the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals. “It behaves like it was one of the boys,” said Robert Michaud, the group's president. The interactions between the narwhal and the belugas appear to be identical to those among just the belugas, suggesting the narwhal has been fully accepted as part of the group.

So how did the narwhal end up in the St. Lawrence in the first place? Michaud said it's not unusual for young whales to wander into strange habitats. Young belugas wandered as far as New Jersey. Some, unable to find their own kind, end up trying to make friends with boats and humans, and get fatally injured by propellers.

“That little narwhal that made a similar trip was very lucky,” Michaud said. “Because he found almost normal buddies.”

Belugas and narwhals tend to “stick to their own kind” when they encounter one another in the north. But Martin Nweeia, a researcher at Harvard University, said given how social both species are, he thinks they'd be similarly capable of caring and compassion.

“I don't think it should surprise people. I think it shows … the compassion and the openness of other species to welcome another member that may not look or act the same. And maybe that's a good lesson for everyone.”

Preaching angle:

Acceptance; Body of Christ; Community; Fellowship – Church members must also be eager to welcome newcomers and strangers into the fellowship. No visitor should ever feel as though they are unwelcome or that there is no room for them. As Jesus said, “I was a stranger and you took me in” (Matthew 25:35)


Emily Chung, “Beluga whales adopt lost narwhal in St. Lawrence River” CBC News (9-13-18)

Related Sermon Illustrations

An Accidental Invite at Thanksgiving

Dialing the wrong phone number can be awkward, embarrassing, and sometimes downright frustrating. When a young man forgot to notify his grandmother of a change in his cell phone number ...

[Read More]

Waffle House Restaurants Demonstrate Hospitality

In Time Magazine's recent issue in which it identified "240 Reasons to Celebrate America Right Now," number 77 was none other than the lowly, but always open Waffle House. According ...

[Read More]