Monday, March 24, 2008

Dear St. Luke’s Community,

There’s an saying that was front and center in my mind and reflection after the Holy Week and Easter festivities were winding down today. The saying is, “Perception is reality.” I have to admit that there are times when that is more true for me than I would like it to be. As I thought about it I found that often when I use that saying, it’s not in a positive vein.

However, today, I was struck at every turn about how different things seemed around me than they did just last week. Sure, I’m talking about the spiritual realities of the profound shift from Lent to Holy Week to Easter, but in the temporal stuff around me, I also noticed a real shift in how things appear. It actually started on Good Friday. As I walked down the steps toward the door of the Church I saw a robin for the first time this spring. As I noticed the bird at work seeking a crisp morning meal, I found that I was hearing a cardinal here, and the chirp of more robins there, I could sense that new life was straining to break out all over.

Now I know the next part of this change in perception has largely to do with timing. But daylight savings time notwithstanding, the quality of light on things is just different in the past couple of days. The children are out playing longer after school. They’re also pushing on the limits of whether or not they should wear coats.

I noticed in driving back from a trip to the store this evening that I could hear birds everywhere. There were more than the usual number of folks out walking their dogs. There seemed to be more runners and walkers on the road. The big pile of snow in the turnaround at Flagg Street School is smaller every day. My perception of the world around me and what’s going on in it have a huge influence on my reality.

As Easter people it struck me that simply a shift in perspective can make all the difference as well. Assume for a moment that you don’t experience Lent and Easter knowing how the story turns out. Imagine if you will, what Jesus’s disciples might have experienced, perceived and felt each in their own way as it became clearer and clearer that something really important had happened.

Now move out of your imagination and into your experience and perception of the miracle you’ve been a part remembering and celebrating in the past week. You have a new chance this year, just as in every Easter season, to see the world in a new way as a result of the resurrection of Jesus. Death is no longer the final answer but merely a shift in lives that are eternal in nature. Hope is not merely an attractive idea but confident assurance that God can make good out of bad. Love is a way of life not an emotion. We can come to see people as walking talking images of God instead of viewing others with fear and suspicion.

Sometimes it’s all in how you seen things. Take a look at the world around you in the light of the resurrection and help change the reality of things and you’ll be helping bring in the Kingdom of God.

Fr. Warren+