Blessings of Autumn

Once the “Free Pet Blessing”
sign is planted in the soft earth
a small family stops and
Coco is given a blessing with love.

Soon Gino and Katie D.
are in line to receive the blessing
in gratitude for being
a faithful, ornery, energetic presence.

Celebrating this day
three good church ladies chant
in unison, “O God, how
wonderful are the works of your hands!”

Spiritual ancestors taught
Jonah was saved in the fish’s belly
Ravens brought Elijah bread
And one lost sheep was found out of many.

Being amongst the trees
this first week of autumn and breathing
fresh air opens eyes to sheltering
and sustaining flora and fauna.

O God, how wonderful are the works of your hands!

Prayer of St. Francis for All Created Things

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.”
And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good.
Genesis 1:24-25

Blessings Big & Small

Anytime I get to be in nature with my puppy or enjoy the goodness with others who have a similar understanding of who our Creator is, this special time is included in my prayers of gratitude.

Last Sunday afternoon a group of Saint Paul members brought their dogs to be blessed and enjoyed the wonder of nature at the arboretum. We were joined by others who paused from exercising their dogs to receive the blessing and a certificate of observance. You could tell by their smiles it was well received.

Blessing one another is so simple and can be offered by all. Our pets become part of our families as they bless us with kisses and snuggles even when the world seems foreign to us. We bless one another with hugs, phone calls, and sharing of fresh produce or baked goods.
When praying with a friend who has upcoming travel plans, we offered the blessing from Isaiah 41:10 that it may bring sustenance when strength is needed.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

What are the scriptures or words of people who cared about you that bring a sense of safety when feeling lost, lonely, or otherwise distressed? And do you have a blessing that you’ve offered to others?

As a child I looked forward to the benediction at the conclusion of each week’s worship service, when the minister raised their hands and repeated the words from Numbers 6:24-26. Now we offer this ancient prayer to you:

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you.
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Amen.


Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view or download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2022-09-28