A couple of weeks ago, the world awoke to the news of the death of Betty White. On Monday of this week, the iconic actress would have celebrated her 100th birthday.
Quoting Wikipedia: “White was a pet enthusiast and animal welfare advocate, who worked with organizations including the ‘Commission’; ‘The Morris Animal Foundation’; ‘African Wildlife Foundation’; and ‘Actors and Others for The Animals’. Her interest in animal welfare began in the early 1970s, while she was producing and hosting the syndicated series The Pet Set, which spotlighted celebrities and their pets.”
Coincidence or not, one of the daily readings for January 17 comes from Genesis 8.6-22. In particular, I want to highlight v. 17,
‘Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you, birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, that they may breed abundantly on the earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the earth.’
The quote from Genesis Chapter 8 is part of a much larger section of Genesis containing the place of Noah in the restoration of the kingdom of God.
The story of Noah’s life involves two floods not just one.
The first flood (which we often overlook) was the flood of evil across the world at that time. Tradition has it Noah was the only one left, who remembered the God of creation, perfection and love.
We know the rest of the story.
God’s response was to commission Noah and his family to construct an ark in the middle of a desert. This was to be a symbol of faith, and a message to the world of the need to salvage creation in the flood.
This incident in the midst of creation is about love, dedication, commitment, and obedience.
I am sure Betty White would not have compared herself to Noah. At the same time, for well over 80 years, she was devoted to preserving God’s creation, in particular many of God’s creatures. Her perseverance, love, and dedication to the protection and rescue of dogs is commendable.
At the same time, it is a ready reminder for each of us to dedicate our lives to protect the birds and animals and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.
What will our role be in helping the creatures of the earth to abound in our midst?
This is a significant question for each of us in our response to global warming.
In Genesis 2 we read: “1. Thus, the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 2.And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. 3.And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.”
This is a gift for all time, a gift for us to treasure.
Blessings, Archdeacon Brian+