Dog-Gone Excited

Ever felt “dog-tired” and just didn’t want to get out of bed to go to church for Sunday morning worship? Sorry, but you’re about to lose your excuse.
I read this week a story from a few years back about a dog in Portugal that rolled out of bed early every Sunday morning and never missed church. In fact, “Preta” the dog even walked 16 miles to get there.
Every Sunday for several years, the pooch headed out of her owner’s home in the northern Portuguese town of Sobrado at 5 a.m., the newspaper Correio da Manha reported. A former stray, Preta–Portuguese for “black”–walked alone to a church in the neighboring village of Enmesinde to take her usual place next to the altar in time for the 7:30 a.m. service. Whenever worshipers stood or sat down, Preta did the same.
Once the service was over, she usually walked back home. Sometimes Preta would return in a car–but only with a human she knew. The congregation grew at the village church as many people came just to see Preta.
The story made me wonder, about a lot of things. Like, how did the dog know when it was Sunday? Did her owners attend church–and if so, why couldn’t she have hitched a ride with them? (Or, were they of a different denomination than Preta?) And, what was so special about the church service that would inspire a dog to get up every week and make such a long walk?
It’s my prayer that our worship services at The Church at Shelby Crossings would be so exciting, inspiring, encouraging, challenging and attractive that people from all around–young and old, black and white, churched and unchurched, man and beast!–would be willing to make whatever sacrifices are necessary to come celebrate the hope we have in Christ!
Is that unrealistic? Perhaps. But so is the good news of the gospel. It’s still almost unimaginable that an awesome and loving God loves us so much that He sacrificed the life of His only Son to redeem us from the bondage and penalty of sin, so that we could live eternally with Him. But He did. And that’s something worth getting up in the morning to celebrate!
I hope you don’t have to walk 16 miles to be with us this Sunday at Shelby Crossings, but I do hope you’ll be able to join us as we gather together to worship our Lord. I doubt we’ll have a peculiar canine present to draw a crowd, but I do expect God to be there. And that’s pretty “dog-gone” exciting!
I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday
–Pastor Ken