When I was kid, people around me talked about Jesus all the time. They’d tell how they found Jesus to be a bridge over troubled water. (Yep, that’s where the phrase comes from.) They’d talk about finding him to be a friend in time of need. They’d explain how “he may not come when you want him, but he’s always on time.” Somewhere in the outpouring of love for Christ somebody would shake their head and say, “We serve a wonderful God!” My grandmother, Mama Wolfe—who publicly styled herself as a reserved, well-mannered lady—could often be heard singing loudly to herself, “O sweet wonder! O sweet wonder! Jesus the son of God!” That’s all there was to the song, and the more she sang it, the better it sounded.
These days, we don’t talk or sing like that too much. Every generation devises its own language and way of doing. Frankly, a lot of how we talk and sing feel better to me—more honest, less pie-in-the-sky, more relevant to our lived experience. But in the transition from one generation to the next we inevitably lose traditions we should reclaim. As I’ve been thinking and praying through our Thursday series, Faith After Doubt, I keep bumping up against the lost treasure of wonder. It’s a rare gift these days. We need to get it back.
What would happen if we held on to wonder? What if the joys of feeling mystified by things we can’t understand stuck with us? What if we reconciled ourselves to accept some things are simply bigger than reason and often better than anything we could dream up on our own? What if Jesus got so big in our minds all we could do was shake our heads and say, “He’s a wonder in my soul!” (That was another favorite in my grandparents’ house.)
Think about the speed bumps you may have raised just reading the previous paragraph and you’ll get a sense of how quickly we cheat ourselves out of wonder. That’s what we’ll be discussing this Thursday night at 7:30pm CDT. We’ll see why wonder is vital and why it’s risky. Bring your courage and come on in!
Together in wonder,