This Christmas holiday as many celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, let’s remember that not all on earth are experiencing good times. Many live in extreme poverty, are homeless, experiencing loss, pain and suffering, being abused, exploited, are alone and lonely, downtrodden, voiceless, hungry, tortured. Let’s remember the animal kingdom where most will never know a loving touch and who suffer terror beyond what most of us can comprehend – for food, clothing and other consumer products, blood sports, vivisection, entertainment; and in the wild where so many are losing their homes, starving, and dying due to human industrial endeavors and more. For them, though we are supposed to be the ones to bring them the love of the One who is the reason for this season, life is an eternal Treblinka.
Let’s also remember the earth. This beautiful planet that at one time was a garden oasis teeming with life living in peace and harmony. When we shop, let’s bear in mind what our choices mean to the earth’s well-being, for all that which is exploited for human consumption, whether it be people, animals or the earth itself. Perhaps if we have enough, instead of giving to each other, we could give to those less fortunate – help fund rescues or organizations raising awareness of social justice issues; give food, clothing, shelter – and bring a little of the season’s blessing to those in need, human or animal.
For all that are hurting this season, take comfort in his faithfulness and in the knowledge that the Lord Jesus has won the war over evil, and one day all pain and suffering will end, the garden oasis that was intended for all his creation will be restored upon the earth. We have this hope in Him!
God’s blessings to you and yours from the Shepherding All God’s Creatures blog team!
~Kathy, Roslyne, Marcello
What Kind of God Do We Believe In?
The Lord says, “Your destruction of animals will terrify you” (Habakkuk 2 v 17). How we treat animals MATTERS to God! (Dr Greg Boyd)
At the Creation, Christ was with God, “Before the world was created, the WORD already existed. He was with God and He was the same as God”. It was the WORD, Christ Jesus, who participated with God, in the creation of all creatures, both human and non-human, “Through Him God made all things; not one thing in all creation was made without Him” (John 1 v 1-3). This Creation was good (Genesis 1). Both animals and humans were “blessed” by God and He “breathed” into them the same “soul”. When Jesus came to earth as flesh, He took on that flesh which is shared by both humans and animals. And He came with one purpose – to redeem His creatures from the disastrous effects of the Fall (Genesis 3).
Through the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, we hear of a Messiah to come who would one day, not only bring judgment and justice to humanity, but who would restore harmony to all creation, “The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat . . . they will neither hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea”(Isaiah 11 v 1-9).
This then, is the Christ whose human birth took place in a cattle shed. The first eyes to look upon Him, apart from those of His human parents, were those of cattle, and those of the lambs carried by shepherds who had come to worship Him (Luke 2). Jesus’ earthly ministry included many references to animals. He told His listeners that God loves every single one of His creatures from the greatest to the least, even to the humble sparrow, “Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12 v 6).
Concerning His healing on the Sabbath, a direct breach of Jewish Law, Christ asked, “If any one of you had a son or an ox that happened to fall in a well on a Sabbath, would you not pull him out at once on the Sabbath itself?” (Luke 14 v 5). However we consider this question, whether we see the two victims as objects of similar distress, as objects both deserving of compassion, or even as equally valuable working assets, the fact remains that Jesus equates the two, the son and the ox, in a way that He did not need to in order to make His point about the Sabbath.
As the scriptures foretold, to His death He rode on a donkey, the humble beast sharing with Him the triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Note that it was a donkey that carried Jesus and Mary into Bethlehem just before His birth. And now a donkey carries Him into Jerusalem just before His death. Here, Jesus shows us that that which we think has no value, has tremendous value in God’s eyes. In our society animals, particularly the billions tortured in factory farms and laboratories, appear to have no value in our eyes. Jesus challenges our values and the cruel dominion we exercise over God’s beloved creatures. Are the choices we make as consumers helping to bring about God’s Peaceable Kingdom here on earth?
Thank you for reading and following our blog! We hope you are blessed by all you read here. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to message us, thank you! ~Roslyne