Displaying God's True Colors
Fall is one of my favorite seasons of the year. All the vibrant colors of the changing leaves declare the glory of our mighty Creator God. The leaves do not change because the trees are dying. The unique tilt of our spinning planet this time of year brings our northern hemisphere less of the sun’s energy, unleashing a chemical process that changes these colors. And that change brings great beauty.
This time of year also brings some of my best memories — those created on Thanksgiving Day. They include special meals around the dining room table begun with prayer and large family gatherings full of laughter and joy. It is a time of sharing personal reasons for gratefulness and thankfulness to God over the past year. In the midst of it all we have shared family stories while playing table games and touch or flag football in the backyard or simply watching games together on the television. But key memories have centered on volunteering at shelters for the homeless and taking food baskets to needy families. True joy has come in this season when we have shared the blessings of God with family and others.
But this year, more than any I can recently recall, many parts of our country and world have been devastated by natural disasters over the summer and early fall. We've witnessed fires in the Northwest and California; hurricanes in Texas, Florida and the Caribbean islands; as well as earthquakes in Mexico. Many people are struggling just to survive and have no hope of things getting better. Yet even during times of pain and suffering, the beautiful colors of God’s love and compassion are in full display.
I’ve been inspired by the stories of the first responders. They are national heroes and wonderful examples of God’s caring and kindness. Those of us who are not trained to be first responders also have roles to play in these times of great need by adding our prayers, financial and material support to the efforts. Even if we can’t all be “feet on the ground” in the stricken areas, we can still display the beautiful love of God to those who have lost so much.
Our mission is to share the distinctive Seventh-day Adventist message of hope and wholeness with those around us here in the Northwest and throughout the world. That mission means more than just "talk." Each of us can make a choice to be actively involved. Adventist agencies such as Adventist Community Services (ACS) and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) are energetically serving the victims in all the places mentioned above — and more. They need volunteers and financial assistance. Check with your local conference ACS coordinator to see what they need most. We can all do something to help.
We are called to display the beautiful colors of the love and compassion of our Creator God and Savior Jesus Christ to brings hope and wholeness to our world. It’s not just something inspirational to ponder. It is our mission — our call to action. We are never more like Jesus than when we are doing the mission of Jesus, working side by side with Him and others to reveal the fullness of the love of God to those who do not know Him.
This year, make a commitment around your Thanksgiving table to give generously to relief organizations as well as to actively display the love of Christ Jesus. Help others to enjoy the full display of God's true colors!