Wednesday, January 20 2021
Perspective! In art, it refers to drawing solid 2-dimensional objects on a 2-dimensional surface to give the impression of height, width, depth, and position in relation to other objects. In geometry, perspective deals with the relation of 2 figures on the same plane. More general usage relates to a particular point of view or attitude toward someone or something.
Basically, perspective refers to the way we see things. Its Latin root means “to look through” or “to perceive.” It has to do with gaining understanding. We sometimes use it to refer to the ability to understand what is important and what is not. Keeping things in perspective helps us handle fear, failure, or frustration. It can help us deal with anxiety, apathy, and anger.
Today, I needed some perspective. An email from my 90-year-old father sure helped. It contained a video chronicling all a person born in 1900 would have experienced in their lifetime. At 14 years of age, the world went to war for the first time. In 4 years of war, 22 million people died. The Spanish Flu haunted their late teens and early twenties - killing 50 million people in 2 years. At 29, the stock market crash began the Great Depression. Unemployment reached 30%. From the ages of 39 to 45, World War 2 claimed the lives of 75 million people. Polio killed an half a million people per year during the first 55 years of their lives. Small Pox killed over 300 million during their lifetime. From the age of 55 to 75, they experienced “hot” war in Viet Nam (4 million killed) and “cold” war with the Soviet Union. How did our great-grandparents or grandparent or parents do it? I don’t know the answer to that question. I do know there is no question they understand what we are going through. The video encourages us to take a perspective of gratitude toward them and our present situation.
The writer of Hebrews gives his readers some perspective in the passage above. Hebrews 11 – “the Hall of Faith” – details the acts of faith by some of the great (and not so great) Old Testament characters. Most of these great demonstrations of faith came during extremely difficult circumstances, often over long periods of time, and sometimes ended badly (from some perspectives). These were far from perfect people but they were faithful. These “witnesses” and other “saints” in the crowd cheer us on as we enter the stadium of life. The writer urges us to fix our eyes on Jesus – i.e. get some perspective – as we run the race set before us. Jesus endured the cross for the joy of saving us. If we consider what He endured for us because of His great love for us, we will gain strength and encouragement. These are indeed trying times. So much is beyond our control. But this we can control – where we fix our eyes! Let us fix our eyes – and our perspectives - on Jesus.
Things to Know
* This Week’s Worship – We will meet at our normally scheduled times (8, 9:30, 11am). Child Care and Children’s Church will be provided. Adult Bible Studies are allowed to meet if they desire (Contact Justin Lewis in order to coordinate). The 9:30 and 11:00am three services will be livestreamed – here.
* Our teaching series - “Not Just Another Saturday!” We will continue our 5 week study of WPC’s Code statements. This week: We seek to love and live like Jesus. I encourage you to take a listen to our previous weeks here.