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Week of: June 16, 2019
Scripture: Psalm 8
O LORD, our Sovereign, how majestic is your name in all the earth! … When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? Yet you have made them a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.
(Psalm 8:1a, 3-5, NRSV)
A church in my community has a yearly “Week of Wonder” as part of its children’s ministry. It’s a week of creative exploration, arts, story and song, a time of amazing discovery, and celebration of the creation. Psalm 8 is a daily call to wonder; it’s an invitation to spread our arms wide and embrace all that God has created.
As you are planning worship this summer, organizing “weeks of wonder”, writing sermons and prayers, allow time to set those tasks aside and look up and out at the world. Take a walk in the woods. Watch the sun set over the ocean. See the sun rise across the prairie. Sit outside in the evening and listen to the owls. Spend time with children who will point you to the wonder of the smallest insect, the most interesting turtle. Feel the rhythm of your own amazing breath.
Intentional moments of meditation outdoors can give us a deep sense of comfort and gratitude, remembering God’s care for us and the earth. We can also gain a sense of perspective and space, knowing that our work as worship artists is caught up in the creative work of God, who has crowned us, gifted us, and called us.
O God of Creation,
how great is your name in all the earth!
The work of your hands is new every morning.
Recreate in us a sense of wonder,
that we might sing of your glory all our days;
through Christ and in the Holy Spirit, now and always. Amen.
Associate Dean Emerita for Worship and Music
Associate Professor Emerita in the Practice of Liturgy and Music
Candler School of Theology, Emory University
Photo: Lake Junaluska is seen during Music & Worship Arts Week 2018. MWAW 2019, “Spirit of Wonder,” begins on June 23. (Fellowship photo by Daniel Craig.)