(Written for a service where we welcomed animals on Sunday 4th October2015 and inspired by the conversations written by John Bell and Graham Maule).
Jesus: Yes Peter?
Peter: I was wondering …
Jesus: what were you wondering about …
Peter: Well, it’s just … I wanted to know … whether … well … is there room for Rocky in the kingdom of God?
Jesus: You mean Rocky the hamster.
Peter: Yes. I love Rocky. We’ve been friends for years. And you keep talking about
the kingdom of God, and I was wondering is there a place for Rocky? Or is it just for humans.
Jesus: What does the Bible tell us?
Peter: Don’t ask me Jesus, you’re the expert.
Jesus: Well, what does it say in Genesis 1?
Peter: It says God created all the birds of the air and the fish in the sea and all the animals on the ground.
Jesus: And what does God say?
Peter: God said it was good.
Jesus: Yes God says all the creatures of the world are good. And what does it say in the story of Noah?
Peter: That God destroyed the world because of human wickedness.
Jesus: But he saves two of every kind of animal. God is interested not just in
saving Noah and his family, but all creatures. And after the flood when God makes a covenant to never destroy the world again, he says it is a covenant not just with Noah, not just with humans, but all creatures.
Peter: So what are you saying?
Jesus: I’m saying Peter that all creatures matter to God not just humans.
Peter: But what about Rocky? Is there room for Rocky in the kingdom?
Jesus: What does the prophet Isaiah say?
Peter: That God loves hamsters???
Jesus: Well not exactly … Isaiah says that ‘The wolf will lie with the lamb … and the lion will eat straw like the ox … and they will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the LORD’
Peter: What does that mean?
Jesus: This is Isaiah’s picture of God’s intention for creation, for the new heavens and the new earth … it’s a picture where all creation, humans and animals are at peace.
Jesus: Wow indeed!
Peter: So if all creatures matter to God, Rocky matters to God.
Jesus: I’m saying that God declares all that he creates as good –
whether it be trees, animals, or humans;
and everything God creates, God cares for, provides for;
and everything God creates is created to praise God.
As the Psalmist says:
‘let everything that has breath praise the Lord.’
Peter: Oh, Rocky loves to praise God … he’s always squeaking!
Jesus: I’m sure he has a fine voice.
Peter: Thanks Jesus.
Jesus: What for?
Peter: These little chats, always helpful.
Jesus: My pleasure, Peter.