Several years ago, my husband and I taught a Sunday School class in which we went through the Redemption Songs album by Jars of Clay. It was such a great class. We looked at each song, looked at its history, and examined the theological foundations of the song.
One of the songs on that album is Let Us Love and Sing and Wonder. (You can listen to their version here.) It’s a celebration of the Lord’s mercy to us–that he has “quenched the Law’s loud thunder,” that he “pitied us when enemies”–that Jesus “brings us home to God.” I love the summary that the first line provides: let us love and sing and wonder. Three perfect responses to God’s completed work and his ongoing work in me.
There is another old hymn–Wesley’s Love Divine, All Loves Excelling–that ends, “lost in wonder, love and praise.” I love that, too. To be so focused on the gospel and its merits that I am overcome by the wonder of it all, the depth of the Lord’s love for me, the love he has stirred in me toward himself, the overflowing praise of recognizing the One who deserves all of my thanks.
It is when I contemplated the gospel that I am most driven to this wonder, love, and praise. But it is not limited to that time.
God’s creation leads me to worship him. The people he created. Their expressions, the freedom of them enjoying what he made.
We are called to a life of worship, and he has given us good work to do in which our hearts are drawn to him and to his goodness. The work isn’t meant to replace him in our hearts or focus, but to point us toward him.
Jesus, as I finish out this week, let my work point me to you. Let me never trust in it, but let it remind me of your goodness. Let me know your grace in the faces of children I photographed this week, and mothers and daughters and grandmothers, in graduating seniors and preschoolers. Your own image is reflected there: let me be drawn to wonder, love and praise as I see the work of your hand. Keep my affections ordered, my time set within the boundaries you have given me. Let it not overflow its boundaries, causing damage like a broken levee. Instead, keep my work within its channels, and let it draw me to praise. Teach me to wonder at your creation and your gospel. Deepen my love for you. And let my life be an expression of praise. In your very own beautiful Name, Amen.