In the story of Noah we are reminded that God made a covenant (a binding agreement) of care with all living creatures, not just Noah’s family. Animals and the land are also included in calls for Sabbath and rest, and the health of other creatures serve as markers for the faithfulness of people. Consider how you are connected to other creatures this week.
Genesis 9:8-17 (covenant with Noah)
Psalm 50:9-12 (all the creatures are God’s)
Jer 8:5-7 (animals are wise)
Isaiah 43:18-21 (the wild animals praise God)
Hosea 2:18-23 (covenant with all)
- Offer a blessing for a pet or an animal that you love. If appropriate, place your hand on their head and say a blessing out loud. You can write your own or use this one from Blessing of the Animals: “[insert name], you were created by God, and you are loved by God. Together, may we experience joy and companionship, and continue to be a blessing to one another.”
- Spend some time outside observing a creature of the earth (squirrels and chipmunks are especially fun, but so are earthworms and ants). Allow your awareness to focus entirely on this fellow being who shares the earth with you. What do you notice about them? What might they be teaching you in this moment? How has your perception of this creature shifted after this time of observation?
- Look up the species at risk list for Ontario and notice all the creatures which are at risk, endangered, or extirpated (meaning they have disappeared from the wild in Ontario). With the list in hand, collect stones and keep them in a pile by your side. Read each name out loud, followed by an invocation like “you are created by God, and loved by God.” After each name is read, place a stone in front of you, building a cairn as you go. Let this cairn be a reminder of the covenant God made, not just with humankind but with animals as well.