Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Do you need a dog metaphor for your sermon?

I’ve been dogsitting since December 5th, sometimes for two sets of dogs at once.  Every morning, at 6:30am, no matter what house I wake up in, I have to go run Pablo and Pepe.  Even this morning, when it didn’t LOOK like it was going to rain when we started, and then it totally did.

So my life has been dogs dogs dogs 24/7, right up until I leave to go home for the holidays.

And if you’ve spent any time at all in any church of larger-ish size, you will invariably run across a pastor who uses a dog story as a metaphor.

Why?  Well, because most people are dog people, and therefore most everyone can relate to dog stories, and starting a sermon off with on is a way to keep people’s attention for at least five minutes.

They are such obvious metaphors (dog is you, owner is God) that I bet I can rattle a bunch of them off the top of my head.  Let’s see….

(and it’s best if you say the following in your best Old Time Folksy Pastor Voice)

“So you know you can let your dog go running off if you want.  Sure you can!  Let your dog go off leash through the woods, let him explore, let him do his own thing.  But don’t be surprised if he comes back all muddy and his coat full of burrs, and maybe he’s even sprayed by a skunk.  Because that’s what happens when you go roaming off the path that God has set out in front of ya – you come back a dag-gum mess is what happens!”

“That’s the thing about dogs and leashes.  Dogs don’t understand why they gotta be on a leash.  But it’s because they don’t know everything like you know everything.  Like GOD knows everything.  Alls you seein’ is the ground in front of you, and you’re all hell bent to scamper down that road just as fast as you can and then God yanks your leash back and you’re all HEY!  WHAT’D I DO!?  You don’t get it.  And if you’d simply relax and let GOD take control, life would go a lot easier without you choking yourself all the time.” (I know that picture of Bella isn't really about her on a leash, but it was too cute not to include.)

“Dogs gotta eat.  But they can’t get to the dog food sack themselves.  Who do they depend on?  YOU.  YOU’re the one who’s gotta feed them, who’s gotta give them water, who’s gotta take them out on walks.  YOU’re the one who’s gotta give ‘em a bath when they get stinky.  They can’t do none of this without you.  That’s why they TRUST you.  Because you’re their MASTER.  So why can’t we as people trust our heavenly father the same way?  He’s gonna take care of us!  He’s gonna feed us, gonna take us out for some exercise.  Because WE ARE HIS, we are.”

And on and on and on. :)

I'm sure I could keep going, but you guys get the point, right?  We're all dogs, God is dog spelled backwards, he's our master, we need to obey him more.

You don't hear a lot of cat metaphors in sermons, do you?  know why?  Because cats are EVIL!  Minions of the enemy!!  Yarrrrrrrrrrrr!

Kidding kidding.  But seriously, pay attention to the next time a pastor busts out a cat metaphor.  And then come tell me about it. :)

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