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September 6 Devotional

Opening Prayer: O Divine Voice, You sing and the universe comes into being; O Divine Breath, You breathe and all things spring to life; O Divine Word, You call and creation is sustained; O Divine Flesh, You are born among us, and the Creator is clothed in creation; O Divine Spirit, You contain all that has been formed; O Divine Life, You are the pulse of all that is; and so in faithful expectation, in wonder and celebration we gather to remember this mystery: in you all things live and move and have being, in all things, you live and move and express your Divine artistry; and so we join with creation in the eternal song of worship and devotion. Amen. - Brian McLaren

Scripture: Psalm 77:11-20

Journal: When you read the words, I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old, what comes to mind? Where have you experienced wonder lately? When is the last time you were overwhelmed by God’s deeds, or by his character? 

Reflection: I guess, if you really thought about it, a good definition for the word wonder might be anything that makes you say, “Wow!” And wow is a really great word. Think back to the last time you said it. What were the circumstances? What happened within you? What fruit did it produce? According to Anne Lamott the word wow is one of the three great words of prayer—along with help and thanks. I don’t know about you, but I don’t say wow nearly enough. And I have a suspicion that it’s most often because I’m not paying attention. My guess is that if I was really paying attention I would see a lot to wow about—both big things and small things. I’m usually okay at noticing the big things—usually—but I could use significant help in noticing the small things. 

One summer while I was working at a Young Life camp, I was taking my normal early morning stroll to the dining hall when I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Something was fluttering. At first I thought it was a bunch of butterflies, but when I stopped and looked closer I noticed that dancing atop the red and pink wildflowers that I passed on my daily trek were at least thirty goldfinches. It was absolutely beautiful—a definite wow moment. As I stood there in wonder, taking it all in, another one of the camp staff, who was driving by in a golf cart, stopped to ask me why I was standing in the middle of the road. When I showed him what I was looking at he was immediately captured as well. “I wonder how many days this has been going on and I have just driven right by without noticing it?” he wondered. And for a long time we just watched in silence.

Moments of wonder are all around us if we are paying attention. And many, even this very day, will pass us by without our noticing. Where might God be inviting you to stop and take a look at what he is doing today? Where is God showing up regularly, just hoping that someday you might slow down enough to pay attention and be caught up in wonder? Whatever you do, pay attention to the little things. Because when you do you will find that the little things are not really little things at all, but invitations to stop and say, “Wow!”

Hymn for the Day

Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself

Mark and Mary are living in a Creative Access country. Mark is working for a U.S. corporation there as a “Tent Maker.” Mark’s work gives him unparalleled access to the local population. Pray today for wisdom for Mark and Mary as they lead a growing team. Pray for unity of spirit and vision, and that the Lord would use them for his kingdom, and that the gospel would take root across the land where they live.

Habitat for Humanity builds and sells single-family homes to qualified low and very-low income families by developing partnerships with businesses, organizations, churches, foundations and individuals who help build the homes. Pray today for the new homeowners who have recently moved into homes built earlier this year.

Closing Prayer: Lord God, author, creator, sustainer, artist, poet, and giver of life; help us to pay attention this day to all of the people and the places and the things that could cause us to stop and say “Wow” if we would just give them the chance. Amen.