Many of us have read and prayed and even sung this prayer attributed to St. Francis of the 13th century. It is a prayer that seeks holy help in the alignment of our priorities. St. Francis was known to be generous and creative. He believed in the beauty and wonder of all creation, and today many churches hold Blessing of the Animals services in his honor. People are invited to bring their pets to be blessed and recognized as a special part of Creation.
One such blessing is:
Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. On the 5th and 6th days of creation, you called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless the animals and all living creatures. May we always praise the beauty and wonder of your creation and be good stewards of your blessings. With grateful hearts, in Christ we pray. Amen.
Blessing of the Animals Drop In will be held on Saturday, September 28 from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. under the picnic shelter. Each attendee is invited to bring a pet supply that can be donated to South Strand Humane Society such as food or bedding. We will have poop bags, hand sanitizer and wipes on hand. Please, no exotic pets and pets must be on a leash or in a carrier.
And now a poem:
This past Spring during Holy Week, I waited in the parking lot at the Piggly Wiggly to meet Leigh and Mike Gamble to pick up the Easter Lilies. While I waited, I scribbled this little verse to be sung to the tune of “Here Comes Peter Cottontail”:
I’m sitting at the Piggly Wiggly
Waiting on an Easter Lily
Things that make my asthma come and stay
But they’re mighty beautiful
So I’ll be dutiful
And have an inhaler Easter day!
Poetry and songwriting are not my gift. But it was fun! And I have other gifts that God can use. Part of my life with Christ is to give my gifts, talents, time and resources, however large or small, to God. Furthermore, my attitude in giving is important. My poetry may not be of much use to God, but my attitude in giving is my witness. I hope to be an enthusiastic giver of my gifts, talents, time, service and money.
Last week, you responded enthusiastically when we called for a special offering to help people in devastated areas after the hurricane. It blessed my soul to see your generosity. So far $3,386.00 has been raised.
It is a good thing when we get excited about being a part of God’s world.
This past Tuesday morning, I counted cotton balls with our CDC kids in chapel. It may sound odd, but we were learning about the parable of the shepherd who leaves the 99 sheep to go and find the 1 who is lost. (Luke 15: 1-5) It was fun to watch the children’s faces and hear their excitement as we counted each one. Then when we were short one cotton ball and we had to find it, their joy in having all the cotton balls back where they belonged was contagious. From there, we made a careful leap into talking about God’s care for us.
As the week progressed, I thought about Jesus’ reply when the disciples asked about who was the greatest. “He called a child, whom he put among them, and said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
What does it mean to become like children? Generous, enthusiastic, hopeful, dependent, and willing come to mind. These are ways we need to be in our response to God.
I pray you are like a child in your response to God this week.