Awe and its attendant wonder carry us beyond ourselves – we experience it as we are drawn to take in the immensity of the cosmos, the thrill of new life, the solitude of nature, and all that’s truly beautiful. In such moments, joy arises from our fleeting immersion in a life that is bigger than we are – a life that’s expansive, precious, and somewhat unknowable.
Rev. Scott Tayler observes that “physicists tell us, contemplation of the vast universe doesn’t make them feel smaller, it makes them realize the larger story of which they are a part. We are stardust. From the vastness we came. To be a people of awe is not so much about feeling small; it’s about feeling connected….. And not just connected to the stars, but also to each other.” Discoveries of research support this observation and reveal that the awe experience is not only enjoyable, it also makes us kinder, more generous, and more healthy. In fundamentally important ways, finding awe in our lives is necessary for our well-being. …and the good news is that awe can be cultivated and grown into our daily living.
The December Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning and possibilities of “awe” – to reflect on how we can experience it in our lives and how it is a part of sharing in community. We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles. The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here. If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they’re gone. You might also like joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – you can find information about the circles here and there are also flyers in the fellowship room..
Wishing you joy in community,
M. E. Tanabe