Tomorrow we celebrate the Feast of St. Francis, our patronal saint. We do this outside on the meadow east of the Parish Hall. At the close of the day, we gather in the center of creation surrounded by our animal friends. We give thanks for the goodness of God; we give thanks for the faces of God reflected in those by whose side we stand and in those we hold in our arms; and we give thanks for the world around us. We'll sing the words of Saint Francis as we sing the Canticle of the Sun. And then we'll do a blessing of the animals who show us the face of God.
At it's core, blessing is the acknowledgment of a relationship, a tie that binds. "Blessed be God" we say as we begin our worship. We're acknowledging the relationship that links us to God. Jacob wouldn't let that stranger go until he received a blessing recognizing the relationship between him and that Holy stranger.
Each Sunday, we close our worship with a declaration of God's blessing, an affirmation that we are God's beloved children.
Tomorrow, we'll declare God's blessing on those animals who are so much a part of our lives. It's a blessing filled with gratitude.
Be sure to bring a picture of those animals who are or who have been a blessing to you. As part of our offering, we'll carry those pictures to the altar.
In gratitude for the many ways God's goodness is revealed in God's creation.