Pastors Pen - September 2016
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Pastor's Pen
September 2016
by Pastor Alan Darby

Dear Friends,

Coming up quickly upon is our annual “Blessing of the Animals”. There is a lot of excitement about all that is being planned for Saturday, September 10th here at St Paul’s. This was relatively new to me when I came to Brick three years ago but I have come to really appreciate this ministry of our church to families in our church and community. I’ve seen that it is an effective way for us to reach out to our community and share God’s love and grace with friends who love their pets. I have also spent some time studying the history and theology behind this festival that originated with Francis of Assisi. Francis left a life of wealth and power to seek a life of humbly serving Christ with a passion for all of God’s Creatures, humans and animals included. The application of blessings for our pets is a natural (some pun intended) expression of our love for the Lord and all of the fullness of His created handiwork.

When God created our first human parents in the Garden of Eden, he established a legacy for all generations to be stewards, or caretakers, of “the earth and all the fullness thereof”. We therefore have the opportunity to pass on “blessing”, the extension of God’s goodness and favor, or add to the “curse” that also started with human sin in the Garden. I choose to do all I can to pass on God’s Benediction (blessings) after the fashion of Francis and many others who love God’s Creative order.

Psalm 148 says: “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding you mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars, wild animals and all cattle, small creatures and flying birds, kings of the earth and all nations, you princes and all rulers on the earth, young men and maidens, old men and children. Let them praise the name of the LORD, for His name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”

It seems to me that that admonition to praise includes all of us plus dogs, cats, snakes, hermit crabs, horses, bearded dragons and anything else that shows up for us to bless on Pet Blessing day. May we all be blessed as we celebrate God’s awesome creative power and love!

In His Regard,

Pastor Al

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