Thank you for all the animals and little birds

But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you.
Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay.
Your people will be my people and your God my God.”
Ruth 1:16
17_Ruth final

I am curious.
Do you ever think about what people teach you?
Okay there is the obvious  –
Teachers teach you about math, science, english, reading, etc.
Coaches teach you all about sports like soccer and basketball.
Music teachers help you learn the piano, guitar, and how to sing.

What I am really curious about is whether or not the regular people in our lives (like our family and friends) teach us things.  I think they do.  Whether they realize it or not.

Ruth taught Naomi about loyalty and love.  You can read about Ruth and Naomi here or watch this silly video here.

Ruth said to her Mother-in-law Naomi “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.”  Ruth stayed with Naomi and loved her and cared for her.  Isn’t that amazing?  Ruth was Naomi’s daughter-in-law and didn’t have to stay.

I am thinking Naomi witnessed (a fancy churchy way of saying teaches through words and actions) the love of God through her willingness to stay with Naomi and take care of her.  Ruth went into the fields and took up the stray grains that would feed them.  Can you imagine someone caring for you so much they would go hunt for food for you?

There are tons of little things we are taught everyday.  There are the things we notice like how to tie shoes, ride bikes, play scrabble, and how to walk the dog. But there are also the things we don’t pay much attention to like how to cook dinner, grocery shop, clean our rooms, sweep the floor, be patient with one another, argue in a loving way, read the bible, pray, and on and on and on the list goes.  Yes… there are tons of things we are taught every day and we don’t even realize it!

You might be curious how I know this is true.

Well one time a loooong time ago it occurred to me that my children were praying a prayer I did not teach them.  They would pray a grace before meals –

“God is Great, God is Good; Let us thank Him for our food.
By His hands we all are fed, Give us Lord our Daily Bread.
And thank you for all the animals and little birds. Amen.”

 I never prayed the part about the animals and birds – where did they learn that?  To my surprise their grandma taught them that part of the prayer!

They learned to pray for and care about the animals through the time they spent with their grandma.  She loves animals so much that she has witnessed to her grandchildren that it is important to care for and protect God’s critters.  They learned that from her not me – I am totally afraid of critters!  Over time they have learned that God loves the earth and all God’s creatures (especially the animals) by the witness of care for animals through their grandma’s prayer, her work at the animal shelter and her fostering of cats.

I am curious what else my children have learned about God through other people.   And I am seriously curious about  all the new things they will teach me about God’s love and care!!!

Good and Very Good!!!

December 3, 2012

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Genesis 1:1

Isn’t God amazing? God created the light, sky, seas, dry land, plants, sun, moon, stars, fish, birds, animals, and people.  And all of that is incredibly cool and awesome!
But what really amazes me is that God knew where to begin in the beginning.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes it is hard for me to know where to begin!
If a room is messy – where do I begin to clean?
If the cats are meowing – which one do I feed first?
If I want to play or create – which toy or color do I pick?
I have tons of books – which one do I read?
Knowing where to begin can be hard.

Well not for God!  God knew exactly where to begin.  God said, “Let there be light.”  And there was light and then God saw that it was good.

Light makes everything warmer and brighter  and cheerier.  Light helps us in the darkness (thank God for nightlights and flashlights) and it makes  life clearer so we can see and know exactly where to begin.

So of course God would start with light first!  God wants to see all the goodness of creation and invites us into seeing all that goodness too.  Throughout God’s creation story God saw all that He had made and it was good and very good.

In  this Advent season (the beginning of the church year) we are starting off remembering God and the gift of light.

Thank you God for the gift of light.
Thank you God for all the goodness around us.
Thank you God for all our decisions.
Help us to know where to begin in all that we do, say and pray.
Amen.

As you begin this season of Advent – What things do you see that you love?
What things make you exclaim “that is so good- that is so very good!”
and remind you to thank God?