The Gift of Wonder in All God’s Works | The Rev. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

05.31.24 | Celebration, Community, International, Pulpit Posts, World

This past week, New Yorkers had an opportunity to be amazed. As you may have seen or heard in the news, it was the yearly arrival of “Manhattanhenge”—that time in the early summer when the setting of the sun lines up perfectly with the street grid in Manhattan. Since moving back to the city in 2018 I have experienced this phenomenon only once. Quite by accident, at the end of a day I stumbled upon a large-ish group of people staring west, phones lifted to record the event.

It was pretty cool to see. And what was even cooler was the momentary sense of calm and focus that united everyone in the crowd. The crowd has only grown: each year there is more run-up to Manhattanhenge, resulting in more people wanting to experience it. And while it is true that the sun setting in line with the massive architecture of our city provides beautiful content for posting, it is also true that experiencing awe expands our individual perspective. It can unite us across whatever divides us. It’s good for our souls.

Theologian and mystic Abraham Joshua Heschel puts it like this: “Our goal should be to live life in radical amazement…to get up in the morning and look at the world in a way that takes nothing for granted. Everything is phenomenal. Everything is incredible. Never treat life casually. To be spiritual is to be amazed.”

As we move into the months of summer, may each of us seek to sharpen our awareness of the miraculous that surrounds us every day. May we all access more deeply our God-given capacity for wonder.

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson

Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson


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