All Creatures

Reading the Word
Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over ever creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

{Genesis 1:24-26}

Reflecting on the Word
In the Old Testament animals are often thought of with affection. Thus, the commandment about the Sabbath mandated that animals, too, should have rest on feast days. It is expressly forbidden that the ox who stamps out the grain on the threshing floor should have his mouth bound. Later, The Apostle Paul, in a marvelous passage in his letter to the Romans, describes how even the creatures sigh with us to be freed from anxiety and perishability.

{Albert Schweitzer; A Place for Reverence}

Responding to the Word
O God, I thank thee
For all the creatures thou hast made,
So perfect in their kind—
great animals like the elephant and the rhinoceros,
humorous animals like the camel and the monkey,
friendly ones like the dog and the cat,
working ones like the horse and the ox,
timid ones like the squirrel and the rabbit,
majestic ones like the lion and the tiger,
for birds with their songs.

O Lord give us such love for thy creatures,
That love may cast out fear,
And all they creatures see in man
their priest and their friend,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

{George Appleton; The Oxford Book of Prayer}

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About kengire

Ken Gire has been a fulltime writer since 1981 publishing more than twenty books. His writing has earned such honours as two Gold Medallion Awards, Book-of-the-Year by Campus Life and two have been named C. S. Lewis Honour Books. He has worked with Insight for Living, co-authored 25 study guides with Chuck Swindoll and written on such diverse topics as devotional series and young adult fiction. He is currently working on a historical fiction that will be adaptable to film. Ken is also an inspiriational speaker and has founded Reflective Living, a nonprofit ministry devoted to helping individuals live more reflective lives so they may experience life more deeply. View all posts by kengire

One response to “All Creatures

  • J. D. Loofbourrow

    Animals are mysterious to me. I had a discussion once with a brother who said he felt that animals were basically biological machines whose wiring consisted of needs and instincts. I asked him if he had ever had a pet. He said that he had not.

    I grew up with pets, living out in the California country side. We always had a dog or a cat or a mouse or something. We would often choose to watch the cats play by the glow of the woodstove over watching evening TV. It was hours of wholesome entertainment; often even interactive. I have found some animals to be so friendly, comforting, loyal, patient even humble. I have known some to be in need of friends; in need of love’s powerful healing. I have seen them love and respond to love, I have seen them rebel and submit. I have seen their fear and their joy. In caring for them I learned a great deal about stewardship and caring for those weaker than me.

    I know that animals are not made in God’s image. I know that they are not like us. But I cannot believe that they are just soulless meat machines. They have will and emotion, personality and seemingly, as far as pets go anyway, some self awareness. I have thrown away countless toys and appliances; it didn’t bother me at all. I was often happy to think of what I may get to replace what was lost. But every time I have had to bury a cat or a dog, I was sad; even years later I miss them. There is something more than instinct to them (whatever that is). I suspect they have a soul of some kind. I suspect they will, in a particular way, have some place in the resurrection of the cosmos. They are living creatures and they have many things to teach us about ourselves and about God. Thank you for this post it has made for some good food for thought today.

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