What a Wonderful World

The first time I heard the song was forty years ago when I attended one of my first annual conferences in the West Michigan Conference. The dean of the cabinet gave the District Superintendent’s report, which included playing a recording of “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong and released in 1967. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. I was mesmerized.

I see trees of green, red roses too.

I see them bloom for me and you.

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

I see skies of blue and clouds of white,

The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.

And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky

Are also on the faces of people going by.

I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do,

They’re really saying, I love you.

I hear babies crying. I watch them grow.

They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.

And I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Yes, and I think to myself what a wonderful world.

Producer Bob Thiele and writer George David Weiss, creators of What a Wonderful World, hoped that Armstrong’s grandfatherly image would help convey the song’s message, which was controversial at the time. The single was released in 1968, as race riots spread throughout the country to over a hundred cities. There were also attacks on Jewish business establishments. Peter Ling, a professor of American Studies at Nottingham, told the BBC that the Jewish-American Thiele and Weiss believed Louis Armstrong to be “the perfect ambassador to restore race relations between white people like them and the African-American community.”

One day last week, I took a morning walk and decided to empty my mind of everything except a focus on the beauty of Iowa, with Louis Armstrong’s song, What a Wonderful World, on my lips and the scriptures in my heart.

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Guard me as the apple of the eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.

Psalm 17:8 NRSV

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“Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were troubled and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The size of the harvest is bigger than you can imagine, but there are few workers. Therefore, plead with the Lord of the harvest to send out workers for his harvest.”
(Matthew 9:36-38 CEB)

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In addition to spiritual consciousness and enlightenment, pinecones have also historically been used as symbols of peace and everlasting or eternal life. For Native Americans, they represent wisdom and longevity.

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So, we aren’t depressed. But even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day.
(2 Corinthians 4:16 CEB)

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We are God’s coworkers, and you are God’s field, God’s building.

(1 Corinthians 3:9 CEB)

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 “The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.”

(Colossians 3:16-17 CEB)

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I will pour out water upon thirsty ground and streams upon dry land.

I will pour out my spirit upon your descendants, and my blessing upon your offspring.
(Isaiah 44:3 CEB)

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If we live, we live for the Lord, and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we belong to God. (Romans 14:8 CEB)

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“Just like a deer that craves streams of water, my whole being craves you, God. My whole being thirsts for God, for the living God.”

(Psalm 42:1-2 CEB)

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Purple has traditionally represented wisdom and spirituality.

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From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!
(Psalm 113:3 ESV)

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“This is because the Lord himself will come down from heaven with the signal of a shout by the head angel and a blast on God’s trumpet. First, those who are dead in Christ will rise. 17 Then, we who are living and still around will be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet with the Lord in the air. That way we will always be with the Lord.  So encourage each other with these words.”

(1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

 

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Be kind to all. What a wonderful world!

 

 

 

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “What a Wonderful World

  1. Oh my goodness. This is such a lovely letter/message. The photos with your relationship to scriptures is just fantastic. Thank you so much for the uplifting words and beautiful photos! You are much appreciated, Bishop Laurie. Blessings.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and scripture! What a Wonderful World is one of my favorites and I have a lovely picture book that I used and shared with my classes when I taught. Every person is beautiful in their own unique way.

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