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As corny as it sounds, Jesus IS the reason for the season of Christmas and this should make all of us in the rescue community (well and the world) REJOICE!
If you are in any area of work or involvement where you seen pain, violence, discrimination, hate or just the worst of humanity, you can lose hope really fast. It's very disheartening.The rescue community sees this firsthand for sure.
And while Christ coming to us is exciting for people, animals and dogs are impacted by his birth as well.
First of all, can we all just start including a dog in the manger scene please? There was no doubt a dog there present at the birth of Jesus and I feel they need to be represented :)
Secondly, animals are an important part of God’s story and He uses them and talks about them throughout the Bible. God established his covenant not just with humans, but with animals as well.
Genesis 9:9-10 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the cattle, and every best of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark."
He commands us in Proverbs to care for the needs of our animals. Then in Job He says that "every living creature is in the hands of God". For heavens sake, when the flood came, God made sure to save a pair of every living thing. Just think of all those dogs on that boat!
Animals also share in our suffering here on earth because of the fallen world that we live in. We see this every day. Especially those of us in rescue.
But because of Christ, animals will also share in the redemption of the world when Christ returns.
Romans 9:19-23 tells us:
"19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. 20 For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21 that[a] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.
22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies."
Christ's birth is to be celebrated because for believers because this means that Christ's return is coming. With that return will be the eradication of pain, suffering, discrimination, injustice and hate.
4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[b] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
We rescue because we have hope. We live because we have hope. One day, there will be no more.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
Animals will be part of the redemption of the world. Until then we work, we hope, we rescue.