“And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.”And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day. And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.” Genesis 1:20-25 NRSV
Today at Pearl Street UMC, we celebrate the annual Blessing of the Animals. While the idea is foreign to some denominations, it is a time when we celebrate and give thanks for all of God’s creation. It is also a time when we pause to reflect on how we, created in God's image and given dominion over the animals, have performed our responsibility as stewards of His goodness.
In bringing our pets to be blessed, we give thanks for yet another good gift God has given us. Whether bald, furry, feathery, or scaly, our pets offer companionship, health, and healing. From them, we learn more about ourselves, perhaps the most important lesson, unconditional love. We, in turn, benefit from loving and caring for another of God’s creations. In the blessing of the animals, we are also blessed as animals of a higher order.
God, we give thanks for the masterpiece of your creation. We confess we have failed in being responsible guardians of the earth we have been given. We have placed human desires above everything else and have forgotten our need to coexist with the goodness
of creation. Forgive us, we pray and help us become the protectors and sustainers of this earth you intend.