Who is Blessing Who?

With a dove resting
on one sleeve of his brown cowl-neck robe
Saint Francis holds court for furry
companions who’ve been drawn here
as the bright sun gives way to dusk.

Some, who have faced such
indescribable hardships reward
their human family with warm
licks to their faces and nuzzling
while leaning in for loving care.

Blessing fur of white
and black, orange and grey, tan and blue,
invigorates Saint Francis as he
imparts the Holy Spirit
to each one fondly presented.

His gentle, caring
nature brings out the cuddly, snuggly
character of one through twenty
furry and loving friends of God
as they rest on his shoulder.

Kneeling down to embrace
the sweet ones with snouts tilted upwards
gazing face to face, eye to eye
with the furry dogs and cat
awaiting their Creator’s blessing.

What a blessing it is for Deacon Jerry Brabec and pet owners to honor God in this way!

Psalm 104

v. 1 Bless the Lord, O my soul;
O Lord my God, how excellent is your greatness! You are clothed with majesty and splendor.
v. 10 You send the springs into the valleys; they flow between the mountains.
All the beasts of the field drink their fill from them, and the wild asses quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the air make their nests and sing among the branches.
You water the mountains from your dwelling on high;
the earth is fully satisfied by the fruit of your works.
You make grass grow for flocks and herds and plants to serve human beings
that they may bring forth food from the earth,
wine to gladden our hearts, oil to make a cheerful countenance, and bread to strengthen the heart.
The trees of the Lord are full of sap,
the cedars of Lebanon which you planted,
in which the birds build their nests,
and in whose tops the stork makes its dwelling.
The high hills are a refuge for the mountain goats, and the stony cliffs for the rock badgers.
You appointed the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows the time of its setting.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Bless the Lord, O my soul!

Paul-A-Palooza Harvest Time

At the well-attended Harvest Time Outreach Event organized by Pastor Andrew Finch last week, there was much to behold. First, we see Kristin and Scott, a handsome couple eating twin corndogs. They were seated near the bouncy house, which was filled with energetic, screaming, happy children.

Drawing admirers from the neighborhood, the Luther James jazz band with Saint Paul Benson’s John Hough had us rocking and swaying in time. Healthy plants were sold by Lorraine, Kim, and Lou Ann while Amber, Elena, and Priscilla and Tessa directed the painting of pumpkins in the center of the parking lot after they were sold by Andrew, Meagan, and John. Beautiful items from across the globe were plugged by Jill of the 10,000 Villages Store.

Pastor Stephanie walked about being her typical very friendly and outgoing self, greeting people and pets alike while making each one feel special and seen.

Undoubtedly, some of you remember a time when you roller-skated in the church basement, participated in church picnics and campouts, and attended Sunday School with many others. Holding fellowship with our neighbors and providing a reasonably priced night out are how we are drawing people in to meet us these days. That way they can see what nice people we are.

As the children light up in the “magic of the night” at Saint Paul, we have a chance to witness to the all-inclusive love of Christ. What a gift that is!

We continue to pray for you and your loved ones. Live in the joy of your faith as you trust in the One whose Spirit lives within you.

May you feel God’s anointing love resting upon you!

Rev. Marta Wheeler

To view and download a PDF version of this devotional, click here:  Devotional MW 2021-10-06