Monday, May 12, 2008

A Blessing of the Dogs?

"Grapevine, Texas - A Pet Blessing will be held at First United Methodist Church of Grapevine on Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 3 p.m. on the church's playground. The community is invited to participate by bringing their animals to the service.

Last year, cats, dogs, lizards, snakes and spiders were blessed. The service is held outdoors so that even large animals like horses can attend.

The church's Pastor to Children and Families, Rev. Nathan Firmin, comments, "We do this service because animals have been a blessing and a help to human beings since Creation. Humans depend upon animals for food. Animals work with people in agriculture, ranching, medicine, law enforcement, the military and sports. Nearly 100 million households in America have animal companions that share shelter, food, and affection. God has given humankind responsibility for the animals in our care. The Blessing of the Pets is a time when people stop to thank God for the animals in their care and for the care of animals that serve humankind."

Read more here.

Some Questions
~Is this a good idea?
~Can you think of some benefits to blessing you pets?
~Does this reflect well or poorly on the church as a whole?
~Can/should this be taken farther? (i.e. blessing cars, boats, jewelery etc.)


j razz said...

I don't know that it is a bad idea to pray to the Lord thanking Him for the blessings animals brings to you, in fact, I would say it is a good idea to have a thankful heart that longs to praise our Father who gives good gifts. However, to have a "Pet Blessing" ceremony seems to go a bit further than scripture seems to prescribe. What does one look like? How is it to be conducted? Does it honor the Lord? Does it undermine the message of the Church?

The above are all questions that would need to be answered before such an event should be allowed to be conducted. And if we turn to scripture for answers, there is no reference to such a ceremony/event ever being conducted. The closest we have are animal sacrifices as laid out in Leviticus, but those are no longer necessary due to the fact that Christ's sacrifice was far superior to those of bulls and goats.

And, good question Timm, if this is to "take off" amongst churches, how far does a church go with it? Do we have our computers blessed, our mobile phones? Our toilet paper? And, who is pronouncing the blessing? The pastor (if so, by whose authority)? God Himself?

Good post.

j razz

Timm said...

I agree that this seems to go a bit far. It feels to me like a publicity stunt. I'll admit, I'll never know for certain where their hearts are and what their reasoning is, but something about this article rubs me the wrong way.

It's one thing to encourage all to thank the lord for their pets. (I for one, Love my new puppy. She lightens the mood of the entire house and is wonderful with kids around.) But to make such a show over it just seems a bit off to me.

Anonymous said...

Snakes? Does this mean that Rev. Firmin has overridden Genesis 3:14?