Since we moved into our new home in Boise, Idaho last March, so many things have been new. I was introduced to a lovely new tradition at church this Sunday, as we celebrated the Epiphany, or the day that the Magi visited the Christ child.
After we received communion this Sunday, we each received a Star Word for the year 2015. As I turned over the star-shaped paper, I read my word: perception. In my previous blog post, I wrote about my focus on the word “mercy” for 2015. As a lover of words, I will gladly ponder, pray and learn from my Star Word, too!
Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him. Isaiah 64:4
At first glance, the word “perception” brings to my mind the age-old question, “do you perceive the glass as half empty or half full?”
Merriam Webster tells us that perception is
- the way you think about or understand someone or something
- the ability to understand or notice something easily
To perceive can also mean to discern, realize, recognize. The word “recognize” reminds me of the walk to Emmaus after the crucifixion, when the disciples did not realize that the stranger who was walking with them was the risen Jesus.
When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. Luke 24:13 (NIV)
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:18 (NIV)
Will 2015 be a year of sharpened perception for me? Will it open the eyes of my heart and bring the word mercy into clearer focus? Will I see Jesus in places I didn’t expect to see Him?
Mercy and perception: so I’m starting the new year with two powerful words. Stay tuned to see what these words teach me this year!