View today's sermon on our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQDNJMlGKTM.
Old Testament Reading (Hebrew Scriptures) Job 12:7-10
“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that God holds all things—Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense,as common as the sense of taste? Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom, that you have to grow old before you understand life?
The wisdom from the Book of Job advises us that we don’t have to grow old to understand life and we don’t have to be human to understand life.
The author of Job tells us it is simple common sense to learn from the animals and the fish, and even from the earth itself.
Oh, how far we have strayed.
All is not lost, however. We can look to the earth ecosystem for how to solve the mess we have gotten ourselves into.
Andi Lloyd, biologist turned pastor (currently at the helm of Trinitarian Parish of Castine) has an article in the September issue of The Christian Century magazine in which she views our current climate crisis through the message of the Prophet Hosea. She summarizes that the best solution to our plight may be through biomimicry. She writes, “Biomimicry is literally the copying of life. The practice of biomimicry looks to nonhuman nature for inspiration for architectural design, technological design, and even the transformation of human cultural systems. Humans try to solve problems by carefully studying the natural world and imitating what we see there. We do this because we observe that nature has often developed efficient and intricate means to and end. Often solutions that the human mind cannot find are available in nature, if we look closely.”
So – back to the basics. We can learn from and mimic the systems that God has created.
We can look to our animal companions and to our Mother Earth for wisdom beyond words. We can listen to our children and youth for fresh, uncompromised ideas for regaining our equilibrium, for righting a planet on tilt.
Upon arriving, those present were all offered the opportunity to write brief responses about their animal friends. They are shared here…
Name of animal friend? Sunny (beagle)
Favorite trick or skill? Climbing 3 steps in & out of house
Favorite food? pumpkin
Sally’s animal friend has taught her… to slow down and share lots of love.
Name of animal friend? Black Beauty (cat)
Favorite trick or skill? Champion napper
Favorite food? cheese
Nick & Mary Angela’s animal friend has taught them… how to relax.
Name of animal friend? Harlequin (Quinn the cat)
Favorite trick or skill? Running from one end of the house to the other in under 3 seconds.
Favorite food? Anything as long as they feed her at noon.
Pat & Mike’s animal friend has taught them… that she is in charge.
Name of animal friend? Sadie (dog)
Favorite trick or skill? being sweet
Favorite food? people food
Ruth’s animal friend has taught her… contentment and joy.
Name of animal friend? Lily Bear & Pippa
Favorite trick or skill? Going through the hoop & sitting up pretty
Favorite food? Anything & carrots
Debbie’s animal friends have taught her… to keep walking and swimming.
Name of animal friend? Miss Magoo
Favorite trick or skill? being gentle
Favorite food? all
Karen’s animal friend has taught her… patience!
Name of animal friend? Callie (Portuguese water dog)
Favorite trick or skill? swimming
Favorite food? chicken
Bill’s animal friend has taught him… unconditional love.
Name of animal friend? Daisy (dog)
Favorite trick or skill? snuggling
Favorite food? peanut butter
Savanna’s animal friend has taught her… patience and unconditional love.
Name of animal friend? Twinkle & Cooper (cats)
Favorite trick or skill? none and to poke and to be loveable
Favorite food? cat food & tuna and chicken & steak
The Ashmore’s animal friends have taught them… love and that orange cats are very sweet.
Name of animal friend? Henrietta (tortoise)
Favorite trick or skill? trying to escape
Favorite food? cucumbers
Renata’s animal friend has taught her… to see the long view of life.
Name of animal friend? Smydgyn (cat)
Favorite trick or skill? yoga
Favorite food? homemade
Carole’s animal friend has taught her… real unconditional love.
Name of animal friend? Awluv
Favorite trick or skill? fetch
Favorite food? everything
Leo’s animal friend has taught him… love.
Name of animal friend? Mookie
Favorite trick or skill? going for a ride in his stroller or car
Favorite food? pop tarts
Robin’s animal friend has taught her… sometimes it can be hard to open your heart to people and trust them, but it can be worth it.
Name of animal friend? Dearly departed Lady Lou (dog)
Favorite trick or skill?
David’s animal friend taught him… to stay curious and to be watchful of his surroundings.
Thank you all for sharing these life lessons.
Rev. TJ Mack – September 25, 2022
Blessing of the Animals (Thomas Rhodes, adapted)
Blessed are you, O God, Maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish from the sea, birds in the air, animals on the land. Blessed are you, Spirit of Life, Divine Spark in all creatures.
May your animal companion (_______) give and receive love all the days of their life. And may they be blessed with good health and joy.
May your animal companion (________) and those who care for them be held lovingly in the hand of creation. Amen