Sunday, March 3, 2013

Seeing Wonder and Being Thankful

Try to look at everything through the eyes of a child.
Ruth Draper, American dramatist and monologuist (1884-1957)


Our minister today called attention to the stained glass window that portrayed gloriously the Blessing of the Children parable for which the main instruction is, "Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall not enter." We discussed removing our adult lenses of cynicism that cloud our perspective and looking at the world through the eyes of a child to see the wonders and to be amazed by all the blessings of creation.

Below the main scene of Jesus surrounded by children are four exquisite windows depicting the splendour of the seasons. The texts appear in a Psalm but also in the "Song of the Three Holy Children", the hymn of praise sung by three young men thrown into a fiery furnace by King Nebuchadnezzar because they wouldn't worship an idol. In my travels to the ancient churches of the Middle East and in the catacombs in Rome I often encountered the scene of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego encircled by flames yet untouched because of their piety. I found it a rather gruesome testament to devotion and not at all inspiring.

Half a world away, I now learn the song they sung. Facing the most horrible anguish, they looked beyond their pain to find blessings and thank God for those gifts, just as the gifts themselves are thankful. Acknowledging our blessings by looking through wide open, unencumbered, eyes and being thankful struck a chord with me.


O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.
O ye mountains and little hills, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.



O all ye things that grow on the earth, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.


O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.


O ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.


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