Steadfast Love and Faithfulness

The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. 

Exodus 34:6  

Dear members and friends, 

According to archeological evidence, we find that dogs were the first animals that developed strong bonds with humans sometime around 12,000 B.C. We do not know for sure when humans began to have “pets” but stories of pets are found in all regions throughout human history. However, it was in the modern age when humans began to develop a much deeper and stronger bond with their pets. The word “pet” originated from Middle English and was often used to describe a darling or favorite person or animal. We may see its common use in modern, advanced communities where pets are treated by humans as their real and dear companions. 

I have been wondering why more and more people are having pets in modern and civilized communities. At times, I see that some people even prefer to make a bond with their animal companion instead of seeking to make such a bond with other human beings. It may be true that pets have become more important to many as we all cope with life in individualized and isolated modern communities where we often find our fellow human friends to be selfish, unpredictable, and thus not reliable. Unlike human friends, our animal friends are often found to be “merciful and gracious,” meaning that they very easily forget and forgive our wrongdoing against them. They are also “abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,” meaning that their love for their human friends almost never changes. In a way, our animal friends are bringing a glimpse of divine presence into our lives. 

My brothers and sisters in God, for this week I would like to ask you to take a good look at all our animal friends in our community, and express a deep appreciation to them for their gracious presence with faithfulness and kindness.  

Blessings, Rev. Junchol Lee