I want to invite you to consider some non-traditional practices in these weeks of Lent as we prepare for Easter.
Our continuing practice for Lent will be Music and Meditation again prior to this Sunday service. Last week I invited you to consider adding a discipline of Gratitude, and this week consider an awareness of Wonder.
Jayne Davis wrote, “The difference between gratitude and wonder, to me, is that wonder often catches me by surprise. It is a gratitude that washes over me. It is the multitude of stars appearing in the night sky or the sudden, impulsive hug of a small child around your knees. It is the migrating Monarch butterflies filling the sky, or the unexpected word of grace from a crusty old soul. Awe. Wonder. Hope. Imagination. We can’t create wonder, but we can put ourselves in a position to experience it, with humility, openness, expectation; praising God for who God is and wondering what God will be up to next.
We just got back from a visit to Arizona. We haven’t visited our family there for three years due to COVID. It was good to see them, and just to be in Phoenix for a few days. Kids who had been babies when we were there last are now toddlers. Kids who weren’t even conceived of (see what I did there?) when we were last there are giggling babies now. Every visit with family was an opportunity for surprise and wonder.
It has been about as warm here as it is there, but the biggest difference is that the grass is green and flowers are always blooming in Phoenix.
My Nephew and his wife grew up in Phoenix. In fact, she had never lived outside of the city until they spent the year in Chicago last year for his work. She said the most amazing thing to her was to see everything look totally dead in the winter and then returns to slowly to life in the spring.
May we have the eyes of someone raised in Phoenix as we experience the wonder of new life sprouting and flourishing all around us in these Lenten days. As spring officially begins Sunday, may we stop, look, listen and “put ourselves in a position” to be surprised by wonder. May today be Wonder-full!