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Distanced Socializing Devotional- 31

This devotional was written by associate pastor, Beth Graverholt.

Job 12: 7-10

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you; the birds of the air, and they will tell you; ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.”


As we celebrated the Festival of God’s Creation yesterday, Richard encouraged us to think about the importance and interdependence of all of God’s creation. I think many of us especially enjoyed his reflections on our pets, who become like members of our families.

I enjoyed worship and the message, but it wasn’t until this afternoon sitting at my desk at home, trying to work, that some deeper realization hit me. You see, one great frustration of mine as I do more work from home has been my pets’ great talent for interrupting whatever I’m trying to do. During one trustee’s meeting a couple of weeks ago, I had my computer on the kitchen counter, and I was giving the closing prayer, when our cat Thor planted himself right in front of the webcam. I looked up from the prayer to realize that everyone in the meeting was getting a great view of Thor’s tail. Then there are our dogs, Lady and Rocky, who always decide that they need to play fetch as soon as I get on a Zoom call. Other prayers have been interrupted as they play loudly with each other in the background or go running out of my home-office to bark loudly at the mailman.

But this afternoon, as I sat here reflecting on Psalm 23 which I’ll be preaching on this Sunday, as I think about God’s calming and reassuring presence, every one of our five pets is sleeping peacefully. Like everything, their energy comes and goes, and like so much in life, all my attempts to control it do absolutely no good. The dogs will bark when they want to bark, play when they want to play, and sleep when they want to sleep. And a cat will always want attention when you least want to give it to him. Maybe, as this passage from Job suggests, animals have something to teach us about glorifying God and trusting God’s provision. Maybe in the lives of our pets we can see God calling us to resist, control, and complain less, and to love, play, and rest more.


Creator God, we give you thanks for all of Creation, and for the lessons we can learn by looking around at animals and plants. Help us to remember that you hold all of us together in your hand and supply us with your life-giving spirit with each breath. Amen


Would you like to write a devotional for this series? We need to receive a new supply of devotionals so that we can continue this series. If you’d like to submit a devotional, please know that all devotionals are welcome. If you have a devotional—or, would like to write one—please contact Richard at Just about every day, Richard receives an email from someone who deeply appreciated reading the devotion for that day. Contributing one of these devotionals is an important way we can strengthen the bonds that unite our faith community as we socially isolate during this pandemic.

Join us for a virtual Midweek Retreat each Wednesday from 5:15-6:30 pm. We will spend our time seeing and talking with friends from Christ United Methodist Church. We will use zoom technology to connect. Just go to to connect via video. If you need it, the Meeting ID is 458 451 147. If you don’t have a computer or phone, with a camera and microphone, you can still join our virtual Midweek Retreat by traditional telephone. Simply call 346-248-7799. When prompted, type in the Meeting Id number, 458 451 147. This will allow you to participate in the virtual Midweek Retreat using your phone. Find instructions for using Zoom for the first time at

Join Lily for happy hour this Friday! Our assistant music director Lily Spader will broadcast music and reflections live from her living at 5:30 pm this Friday evening. Watch via Facebook live for community and entertainment!

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