A congregation of the United Church of Canada
August 25, 2021
I think my dog is smarter than me. Every afternoon we take her out for a walk. Usually she trots along in front of us. Not lately. The past several days she’s been kind of lagging behind us after about 5 minutes of walking. She slows down a bit, so we give her some encouragement. Then she slows some more, we offer more cajoling, and finally she just stands there and looks at us. It has happened many days in a row now. Everything else about her is completely normal. At first we wondered if she was sensing something in the forest we are walking by. Forests are kind of new for her, and there are all kinds of critters in them, so we thought maybe something had spooked her. So the next day we went in the opposite direction, around more populated streets that she’s walked many times already. Sure enough, the same thing – lagging, then lagging more, then stopping. When she does that we turn around and head back home. And instantly she is out in front of us trotting along again. So we think we’ve figured it out now – she’s just too darn hot, and she knows if she keeps going she’ll be too tired to get back home. Like I said, I think she’s smarter than me!
It has certainly been some hot! So hot, in fact, that we have decided to *change the date* of our outdoor worship service this week. The forecast warns that it will ‘feel like’ over 40 degrees Wednesday, even in the evening. Yikes! So we have chosen to move our outdoor worship to the next day, Thursday evening at 6:30 pm, when it will only feel like a chilly 33 degrees!
I read an article recently that said this is the hottest year on record for our planet. Climate change is all too real. And perhaps you saw the news about the recent report from the United Nations definitively identifying that climate change is more than just a natural phase that earth is going through. Sadly, the human contribution is significant, and devastating. But I think I’ll save further reflection on that until September when we celebrate the liturgical Season of Creation which focuses on such things. It’s too hot to sweat heavy topics like that right now.
For now, I’m just really looking forward to standing up to lead worship and looking out and seeing more than just a video camera in front of me! And do you know what? I’m willing to sweat a little for that privilege! Unfortunately, the advancing ‘delta variant’ of Covid-19 is wreaking havoc on everyone’s hopes and plans for doing more things in-person soon. So I’ll take what I can get, and I will savour Thursday evening’s outdoor worship – and I will revel in our being together again for worship – and I’ll pray it’ll hold me for a while. My dog may be smarter than me about getting out of the heat, but I bet my proverbial ‘tail’ will be wagging way harder than hers ever does when I get to worship with my church again. Oh, and I’m perfectly happy to get to do the extra bit of work to put this worship together. In fact, you might say that it’s the one thing this week that I can actually say, “No sweat!” about.