This year we have been using words from the new OUUC vision and mission as our monthly spiritual themes. This month we begin another W-E-B with the spiritual theme of “Wonder.” (“Embrace” and “Bridge” are coming up.)
The word “wonder” comes from the Old English “wundrain” which means to be astonished, admire, make wonderful, magnify. It can also mean to entertain some doubt or curiosity. How interesting that this word has two such different meanings!
It is easy to see that the inclusion of this word in the OUUC mission might have to do with the Unitarian Universalist tendency to question. After all, we come from a long line of theological heretics, doubters, and questioners.
We could also see the inclusion of this word in our mission as an invitation to be astonished, to admire, to magnify. We could welcome the presence of beauty, of joy, of the wonderful.
So, this month I invite you to notice what astonishes you, what you admire, what is wonderful in your life. The world is hard right now. And there is still beauty, joy, and wonder. It’s Spring, which is a wonder every single year.
Toward that end, I’ll offer a couple of things to get you started.
The first is Audrey Assad singing the first verse of “I Wonder as I Wander.” Her beautiful voice is accompanied by beautiful imagery. The first line is “I wonder as I wander out under the sky.” For me, she could have stopped there-the rest of the verse isn’t my theology. And I can still enjoy the music and images. I hope you can, too.
Second, a reading by Rev. Gordon McKeeman, UU minister and former president of Starr King School for the Ministry.
How does one address a mystery?
Cautiously—let us go cautiously, then, to the end of our certainty, to the boundary of all we know, to the rim of uncertainty, to the perimeter of the unknown which surrounds us.
Reverently—let us go with a sense of awe, a feeling of approaching the powerful holy whose lightning slashes the sky, whose persistence splits concrete with green sprouts, whose miracles are present in every place and moment.
Hopefully—out of our need for wholeness in our own lives, the reconciliation of mind and heart, the conjunction of reason and passion, the intersection of the timeless with time.
Quietly—for no words will explain the inarticulate or summon the presence that is always present even in our absence.
But what shall I say?
Anything—any anger, any hope, any fear, any joy, any request, any word that comes from the depth of being addressed to Being itself—or, perhaps, nothing, no complaint, no request, no entreaty, no thanksgiving, no praise, no blame, no pretense of knowing or of not knowing.
Simply be in the intimate presence of mystery, unashamed—unadorned—unafraid.
And at the end say—Amen.
May your month be filled with curiosity and astonishment.
Blessings on your week.