I confess I am a bit overwhelmed by the frenzy and attention surrounding the eclipse. It seems half my congregation is traveling somewhere to experience it.
But here’s the truth: As human beings, we yearn to experience the feeling of wonder and awe at God’s creation. If God created the universe, then the the beauty and wonder of the world around us is an expression of God’s creativity.
That’s the way we people of faith can experience the solar eclipse: it is a magnificent example of the wonder God built into creation.
Opening ourselves to such experiences is part of what makes for a meaningful spiritual life. The eclipse gives us a unique opportunity to do so.
A member of my congregation asked me if there is an appropriate blessing to say about seeing the eclipse. I did a little research and found a prayer said for several thousand years in Jewish tradition upon experiencing natural wonders.
“Blessed are You, Eternal God, Maker of all the works of creation.”
We might also turn to the powerful verses from the Prophet Amos:
Behold, He who formed the mountains, And created the wind, And has told man what His wish is, Who turns daybreak into blackness, And treads upon the high places of the earth— His name is the LORD, the God of Hosts. (Amos 4:13)
Wonder is not an expression of gratitude at God’s magnificent creation. It is also a source of joy.
You don't have to wait for an eclipse to experience that joy. You can discover ways to experience the amazement of everyday living in The Happiness Prayer: Ancient Jewish Wisdom for the Best Way to Live Today.