“For the Beauty of the Earth” ELW#879
Vs 3. For the joy of ear and eye, for the heart and mind’s delight, for the mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight: Christ, our God, to thee we raise this our sacrifice of praise.
I will always be fascinated by how our senses communicate to our brains and bodies, and how we use our eyes and ears to make sense of the world. As I am now fully vaccinated I have been “catching up” on some medical appointments. Ears and eyes happened last month. I know my ophthalmologist can explain to me exactly how light hits the retina, which turns light into electrical signals, which then the brain turns into images. And I know the audiologist can explain to me how sound waves enter the outer ear, travel down the ear canal to the eardrum, which vibrates and sets the tiny bones in the middle ear into motion, which then moves the cochlea which translates the sound to the brain. But as I went through all the hearing and vision tests I couldn’t help but feel a gap between the knowledge of how our senses work and the sheer miracle of our senses in the first place.
I think our hymn writer named the gap well: the “mystic harmony linking sense to sound and sight.” Sure, we have experts who have figured out how all these things work (and thank God for them!) but can we really comprehend the exquisite detail of nerves, electrical signals, soundwaves, and refracted light? Can we really wrap our minds around the mysterious beauty of knowing our loved ones by sight? Of knowing their laugh? Our senses of sound and sight are directly linked to our hearts and minds through physiology, but maybe more importantly through feelings and emotions. They are intricately linked in ways that the experts might never understand. We are, as Psalm 139 says, “fearfully and wonderfully made.” May we give thanks for the mystic harmony that fills our senses, minds, and hearts with the beauty and love of this life, and may we raise up sounds of praise for all the gifts of God.
In Peace, Pastor Ruth
Let us pray:
Loving God, you hold together all things in heaven and on earth. In your great mercy receive the prayers of all your children, and give to all the world the Spirit of your truth and peace, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Friend. Amen.