What is Wonder in Worship?

By: Sheri Owen

Two Sundays ago, I sang a song during the offertory and the words have stuck with me since. The song “Remember Me” by Mark Schultz has a chorus that goes:

And age to age
And heart to heart
Bound by grace and peace
Child of wonder
Child of God
I’ve remembered you
Remember me

I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of wonder. More specifically, I have been thinking about what it means to have a sense of wonder or awe in a worship service. Children have “wonder” all the time. We sometimes hear the phrase “childlike wonder.”  Wonder is defined as a cause of astonishment or admiration or the quality of exciting amazed admiration. Christian song writer and musician Matt Redman says, “Worship thrives on wonder.” Personally, I don’t believe it is possible to worship God in spirit and truth without having some sense of wonder.

But how do we as adults develop a sense of wonder? This should be where our creative minds come into play. In a culture that thrives on rules, hard evidence and left brained experiences, sometimes it’s hard to use our imagination or our creative right brain functions in worship.  The Book of Psalms is a great example. I love to read the Book of Psalms because it’s like singing a song full of vivid descriptions. For instance, Psalm 104 can help us understand how to develop a sense of wonder in worship. Read these verses and then close your eyes and imagine what the psalmist has written.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
    wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
    you set the beams of your[a] chambers on the waters,
you make the clouds your[b] chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your[c] messengers,
fire and flame your[d] ministers.

You can see it, can’t you. This is a picture that the psalmist has painted about what God looks like as Creator of the universe. I can see it as plain as day. Now we can do the same thing in worship. The next time you read scripture, sing a song or pray let’s use our right brain and our creative side to think about what is really being said. It may help us get excited and experience God in a different way and there is always more God to experience. My prayer is that we never lose our wonder and we never lose our awe. Let’s experience our God who has no end, no limits and endless wonder.

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