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Stories of Brethren stewards * October 19, 2016


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"May we never be afraid to show our true colors..." 
Photo by Cherise Glunz

True Colors
By Nathan Hollenberg, pastor at Linville Creek Church of the Brethren in Broadway, Va.

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me" (Gal. 2:20).

I always find myself eager for fall weather, my favorite season! Recently I read a fascinating and very scientific article about the changing colors of leaves during fall. Essentially the individual who wrote this article argued that when the leaves change their colors we are actually seeing the trees' "true colors" instead of our typically held belief that tree leaves are naturally green.

Without going into too much scientific detail the point is that leaves get their green appearance during the spring and summer because they produce high levels of chlorophyll, which aids in photosynthesis and helps the plant produce food. As the days grow shorter and fall arrives this process breaks down and the chlorophyll dis­sipates, causing the green color of leaves to fade and the "true color" of the leaves to be seen.
Oct Messenger 2016
Read the full October issue of
Messenger magazine at
www.brethren.org/messenger.

It's interesting that it is this time of year, when the tree dies back, that we often think trees are at their "peak" beauty. I have always found the changing of the leaves to be awe inspiring and especially beautiful here where I live, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Perhaps we would rather leave the science out of it and simply appreciate the miracle of the seasons God has included in creation.

However, for me, this idea of the trees showing their "true colors" reminded me of a reality of faith mirrored in the Galatians passage above. Just as trees show their true beauty, their true colors, through a process of letting go, we too have been called to die to self and to let go so that the glory and beauty of God may shine through. We have been "crucified with Christ" so that Christ would become visible in our lives. It seems sometimes that it is in letting go of all our busy-ness and the hard work that so often distracts us that we allow our true beauty found in Christ to shine forth. Fall is often one of these busy seasons as school starts back up, sports seasons get under way, and our yards need attending. Perhaps then this season of autumn is an ap­propriate time to remember to slow down and rediscover the beauty of Christ in you.

Recognize that it is Christ who lives in and through us in order to reveal the beauty and majesty of God. May we never be afraid to show our true colors, giving God the praise and adoration as we discover that beauty in us and in others.

This reflection was originally featured in the October issue of
Messenger magazine. Learn more about the ministries of the
Church of the Brethren at www.brethren.org or support them
at www.brethren.org/give.

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2016 Advent Offering


“A shoot shall come from the
stump of Jesse, and...the spirit
of the Lord shall rest on him”
(Isaiah 11:1-2).


The Advent offering is a
special opportunity for your
congregation to support
Church of the Brethren
denominational ministries.

The suggested date for
this offering is
Dec 4.

Find worship resources at www.brethren.org/adventoffering

 


“Go forth into the world - growing in wisdom, growing in faith, growing in hope. Practice these things, living out God’s love, as an example to all. Amen.”

—A benediction written by Matt McKimmy for
the 2016 National Junior High Sunday.
Find this and other worship resources at
www.brethren.org/jrhighsunday .

 

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