Fear comes in many different shapes, forms and experiences. We try to stave fear off by grasping by what we control when in reality what our faith teaches us is it is not one or the other. To be human is to be vulnerable, is to know that life is uncertain, to know that God has given us promises.
September 18, 2022
“This Here Flesh”
Wonder and Calling
Psalm 19; Matthew 18: 1-5
Rev. Dr. Heather W. McColl
Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork. One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known. Of course, there’s no speech, no words—their voices can’t be heard—but their sound extends throughout the world; their words reach the ends of the earth. God has made a tent in heaven for the sun. The sun is like a groom coming out of his honeymoon suite; like a warrior, it thrills at running its course. It rises in one end of the sky; its circuit is complete at the other. Nothing escapes its heat. The Lord’s Instruction is perfect, reviving one’s very being. The Lord’s laws are faithful, making naive people wise. The Lord’s regulations are right, gladdening the heart. The Lord’s commands are pure, giving light to the eyes. Honoring the Lord is correct, lasting forever. The Lord’s judgments are true. All of these are righteous! They are more desirable than gold—than tons of pure gold! They are sweeter than honey—even dripping off the honeycomb! No doubt about it: your servant is enlightened by them; there is great reward in keeping them. But can anyone know what they’ve accidentally done wrong? Clear me of any unknown sin and save your servant from willful sins. Don’t let them rule me. Then I’ll be completely blameless; I’ll be innocent of great wrongdoing. Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to you, Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
Matthew 8: 1-5
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Then he called a little child over to sit among the disciples, and said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven. Those who humble themselves like this little child will be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Wonder and Calling Psalm 19; Matthew 18:1-5
This Sunday, we invited everyone to share their pictures from this summer of “Where Did You See God?” We have done this for several years as part of Fall Festival weekend. In part, to yes, allow us a slow down Sunday in the midst of Fall Festival craziness but this year…this year is different. I kept coming back to a quote from Cole Arthur Riley, which says “Wonder, then, is a force of liberation. It makes sense of what our souls inherently know we were meant for”
Time and time again, when we share the stories of our faith, we are told that the people stood in awe of God, stood in fear of God. Not because they were worried about punishment if they did something wrong but because the knowledge that the God who crafted the heavens crafted us as well, that our God is steadfast, loving and faithful from generation to generation, that Creation in all its beauty and wonder praises God day in and day out.
This invitation to wonder changes our perspective when we view the world, when we view other people. We realize that it not about rules and regulations. It is not about power and might. It is about finding the holy in the ordinary, knowing that these things, the very things that steal our breath, let us know that God is still at work in this world.
This invitation to wonder about the world around us calls us to become the people of love and grace God created us to be, to join in the work of wonder as healing and wholeness comes to fruition for all of God’s people.
So I invite us to wonder as we take as we watch the slideshow of where we saw God this summer…
See also: Theology Tuesday for Sunday, September 18, 2022 – Wonder and Calling Psalm 19; Matthew 18:1-5.