New Perspectives

Changing Perspective

Mark 16:4-5 “But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.”

As people discuss the Corona Virus and world wide pandemic, they are noting how strange, weird, different everything is from what it used to be. Whether we were ready for it or not; the pandemic, has entered our world and changed many of our perspectives. With social distancing well in place, with people shut up together in their homes; and for now, our way of life, the Corona Virus has caused us to rearrange many of our values and perspectives. Think about toilet paper! What a joy and comfort it has become to know you have toilet paper. Toilet paper alone, has become for us a new gold standard, when before the pandemic it was just an item on your grocery list! Then there is hand sanitizer. I now love to wash my hands. I used to not care very much, but I am eager to get my hands under the sink ten times more often than I used to. When I am at the store, I get depressed seeing the empty hand sanitizer shelf; where previously, I didn’t even notice it. I long for some more masks and enjoy covering my face, whereas before, I simply concerned myself with a morning shave of my whiskers.

Think of how the dreaded, terrible Corona Virus has brought a change to family dynamics and values! Families are playing card games, yard games, dress up games, fun games, games that require interaction! Many families are forced to slow down and actually spend time together and they are glad for it in the midst of this terrible plague. They are inventing cooking challenges and things to do together. They are face timing, Zooming, Skyping, with loved ones living far away. In regards to our worldwide family, look at how there is now a greater focus on getting food to the unemployed. Think of those who are expressing gratitude in creative ways and awakening early in the morning to cheer first responders and those on the front lines of fighting the effects of the pandemic as they make their way to work to continue the battle. Think about the increased attention, cards, and prayers given and lifted for those in nursing homes. Although on lock down, our beloved seniors are anything but forgotten.

The Corona Virus, as awful as it is, stands as an example how something unexpected can change our outlook. It is an example of how something foreign, when it enters into our circumstance, can cause us to begin thinking and believing about things differently. In Mark’s gospel, when the women reach the tomb, the “very large stone had been rolled away.” They weren’t expecting this! They were expecting a sealed shut grave and the dreaded reminder of death. They had no idea the stone would be rolled away! The fact it was rolled away encouraged them to look into the tomb with a rapidly changing perspective. If you read Luke’s gospel in chapter 24, it says when they looked in, “they remembered and believed.”

I share all of this because the stone being rolled away was God’s way, in the midst of a sad and seemingly hopeless situation, it was God’s way of inviting us to look into the place of death and begin seeing the world differently. The stone rolled away was the interjection of an invitation to begin changing our values and what we believe. The stone being rolled away was God inviting us to believe with a new perspective- as the circumstances threatened us.

Going forward, maybe a lot of people will work just a little less and spend more creative time with family. Maybe more phone calls and facetimes to loved ones far away will be the goal of the week. Maybe some will value more eagerly their health and the very simple fact they have toilet paper. Maybe some, will spend less time entranced by the screen of their cell phone and seek to play a game with family. But Easter invites us to rethink those ill situations that depress us. The stone rolled away invites us to rethink what God can do in the midst of our hopelessness. The empty grave invites us to rethink those situations that try to tell us we are defeated. God in the resurrection of Jesus Christ is inviting the world to change its entire perspective of how it lives in relation to God and each other. I pray, this new perspective takes hold and becomes a part of what we believe and who we are.