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Summary: The right colors are red which represents the Blood of the Lamb and white which represents the cleansing power of His blood.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

“The Right Colors”

Text: Rev. 7: 9 - 17

This Sunday concludes our emphasis on your youth. This has been a wonderful celebration and tribute to them. It is clear to me that if you provide youth with the opportunity to serve and participate within the church they will do it with honor and distinction. The scripture is true, “train up a child in the way they will go and when they are old they will not depart from it.”

For our Servant Church to flourish we will have to conduct a youth campaign of epic proportions in the coming years. The challenges that youth face today are monumental. You know the litany of issues. They are plastered over the pages and screens of media today. While I will admit that the issues they are dealing with are great; I believe that our youth have the resiliency to overcome them.

Resiliency is the ability of children to endure extreme stress, to overcome adversity despite overwhelming risk factors, and to go on to be productive adults.

Tough times are not new. Youth have always been faced with great issues. We have to always remind our youth that they are not called to the great; but they are called to the greater. For scripture says, “Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.”

What are the factors that support the greater? There are three: family networks, community based schools, and faith communities.

All three of those support systems themselves are under stress. Family networks are not the same as we may remember. Instead of schools transforming communities through education; they are being influenced by negative forces affecting the community and in many cases are losing the battle; faith communities are increasingly being isolated from their youth.

Yesterday while the Deaconess where having their retreat and the Men’s League was having their meeting, I pointed out to the Men’s League President that there where more youth in this community going into the store across the street than coming into our doors.

I cannot accept as fact that our youth need candy, soda and potato chips more than they need the life giving and life sustaining reality of Jesus Christ.

They need to know what a wonderful change can be wrought in your life when Jesus come into your heart.

The message of Jesus Christ as a life changing and sustaining force pales against the reality our youth are facing. When families break down, when schools are losing the race, and faith seems life a distant star. Young people are turning to themselves as their own system of support.

That’s why there is this increase in gang participation. It’s because young people are forming their own support systems to help them survive the issues of the day. And the strongest of the gang groups are identified by the colors they wear.

That’s not new fraternal and sonority groups are identifies by their colors: Black and Gold, Pink and Green, Red and White,

Black and Blue – no that the fraternity of hard knocks.

Colors are an effective method for creating identity. Therefore, gang culture has adopted colors as their markers. Red is for one group and Blue is for another. Quickly coming on the scene is black. And all throughout gang culture is the basic acceptance of a white tee shirt.

Colors all use in different ways to communicate meaning and associations. The questions properly asked: What are the right colors?

I don’t have a cultural answer to the questions. But I do have a spiritual answer. The right colors for me are found in this text: red which represents the Blood of the Lamb and white which represents the cleansing power of his blood.

This text sets the stage for the greatest gang meeting that will ever be held. Its John the Revelators peers into a foretaste of glory. It’s bible language attempting to communicate a deep theological concept that already, but not yet.

The end of time is assured by the author and finisher of time – God. That’s the central purpose of the Book of Revelation – re velatio. To uncover that which has been hidden.

When reading the book you always have to establish your perspective: is it a historistic document? Is it a futuristic document? Or is it a pietistic document? These are the three dominate views of the text. Is it history, or a peek into the future, or is it a message of hope.

I subscribe to the theory that the book is pietistic – a message of hope.

The chapter begins by informing the faithful that the promise will be given to the twelve tribes of Israel. The tribes of Judah, Reuben, Gad, Asher, Naphtali, Manasseh, Simeon, Levi, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin.

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