the one about those animals...
October 8, 2018, 12:00 AM

Reflection from Blessing of the Animals Service
October 7, 2018

Text: Genesis 1:1, 20-28

So, I wanted to give a short reflection this day as we celebrate the Blessing of Animals. No worries, I know you and your critters want to be blessed, and we’ll get to that shortly.

I am a person who has always loved animals, I’ve grown up in a family that has shown great love and care towards animals. I remember when I was in elementary school and living in Italy where my sister, brother, and I kind of adopted every stray dog in our neighborhood. Unfortunately, there were a large number in that pack of dogs. My sister also happened to name everyone after a tree nut of some sort. There have been very few moments in my life where an animal of some sort didn’t live in my house.

There is something about the animals in our lives – whether they be dogs, cats, snakes, or horses – they have an ability to nuzzle up into our lives and show us what the love of God might be like.

Dogs burst with excitement at our mere presence and the sound of our voice. Much like the father who ran to embrace the son he thought to be dead, but was now found.

Cats, though at times appearing aloof and distant, will cuddle upon you to bring comfort when they sense our sadness and hurt. Much like our Lord weeps as those around him hurt.

Horses exude kindness, intellect, and empathy that at times seems to rival our own. Watching out for us, and even though we may ‘push’ to go one way, they’re smart enough and care enough about us to keep us from going where we think will be good. Our Lord guides us in ways that we cannot see and at times don’t appreciate, but God does this out of love, care, and affection for us.

Snakes… well… snakes remind us of things in the bible. But, seriously, snakes remind us of the people of Israel who looked to the bronze serpent and were healed, just as Jesus was lifted up and those who looked upon him were healed and welcomed as well.

This day, we get to remember God’s creation and love extended to us through the love of those furry and scaly friends and family members in our lives. We get to remember God’s creation and our role within this great kingdom of God – how we are called to care, love, and nurture God’s creation. We are called to be good stewards of what has been given to us through God’s grace and love.

We can and do learn so much from our animals friends. We see God present in our lives through them. We get to live into our calls from God as good stewards of creation as we care for those around us.

This day, we get to remember – as Martin Luther said so many centuries ago, “be though comforted, little dog, though too in Resurrection shall have a little golden tail.”

I would expand that to say that all animals have been extended that promise and love from our God. For God created all of this – all of you – all of life – and deemed it very, very good. Amen.


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