There are so many priceless moments we’ve experienced over the past few years at our tiny church here in New England.  They make me love our small town church even more.

The announcement on Thanksgiving Sunday that they were still short “a Joseph and a wise man” for the children’s Christmas pageant.  The situation was so desperate that they would accept either gender.

The children’s sermon where Jesus was compared to Tom Brady.  (In case you didn’t know, Jesus is our quarterback.)

The Palm Sunday when one man proclaimed his confusion over why the Jews thought Jesus would be a conquering king.  After all, “He was bohn in a bahn.”  (Non-New England translation: He was born in a barn)

And then there was this morning.

I really don’t know how to adequately capture it in words, but I feel obligated to give it my best shot so that the whole world can share in my great delight.

First, you need to know that someone in the congregation works for a vet where many other congregants take their pets for care.

Second, you need to know that the family who often sits in front of us each Sunday had to put their dog to sleep almost two months ago.  It was a dog that had originally belonged to the wife’s now deceased brother, so the dog was extra special to this family.

Third, you need to know that, because of this dog’s special place in the extended family, they decided to have him cremated and bury the ashes somewhere meaningful to them.

By the way, the dog’s name was Pete.

Before the service started this morning, the previously mentioned vet’s assistant came over to this family and handed them a brown cardboard box that had been shipped UPS Ground to the vet’s office.

The family started laughing hysterically.  I don’t have to tell you why.

The vet’s assistant felt it was most convenient to deliver dear ol’ Pete when he saw them this morning, so as not to keep them waiting any longer.

And so there he sat  on the pew for the next hour in an 8x8x8 box.

At least we now know that UPS will ship your cremated canine, if you are ever in need.  However, I cannot vouch for FedEx.

All day long I have tried to summon something witty to draw an analogy here.  I am at a loss.  I have nothing more to say except that I worshiped this morning in the pew behind Pete, the cremated dog.

And just in case you were wondering, I did give Pete a little pat when we greeted each other and passed the peace of Christ.

May he enjoy his rest.