God said, “Let the earth produce every kind of living thing: livestock, crawling things, and wildlife.” And that’s what happened. God made every kind of wildlife, every kind of livestock, and every kind of creature that crawls on the ground. God saw how good it was. Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image to resemble us so that they may take charge of the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and all the crawling things on earth.”
- Genesis 1:24-26 CEB
It comes as no surprise that I have always loved animals - I have never really been without a companion of sorts for very long. I truly can never imagine what it would be like not having some furry friends running around the house. The unyielding love and loyalty a pet shows is, in my opinion, a glimpse of the kingdom of God. I find this especially true with dogs - they never judge, they never waiver in their loyalty...my cats are another story but no less a precious gift from God giving us insight into the magnificence of our Creator.
Blessed Francis of Assisi captures it well in his hymn All Creatures Worship God Most High:
“All creatures, worship God most high!
Sound every voice in earth and sky:
Even Francis recognized that all creatures worship God and through their existence the Holy is praised...and it is up to us, those created to take charge, to protect these sacred creations of the Most High.
Yet Francis does not end there. His praise goes on to include things such as the moon and stars, the sun and trees...Francis recognizes that all things are a product of the creation of God. With that we are called to care for all things. These have been entrusted to us by the Holy.
On Sunday we will give thanks for the life of Francis, for what he taught and how he directed us to see the world through new eyes. I encourage you to bring a picture of your animal companions - or if you feel inclined, bring them to church. We will take a moment out of the service to ask God to bless our companions and all the beasts of the earth.
I hope we are encouraged to see God’s work in all things around us...and act accordingly as stewards of this beautiful planet and all that it contains.
Yours in Christ,