Gary Krause, Director for Communication, General Conference Global Mission
Summary: Jesus left the comforts and glory of heaven to join our sin infested world simply because He valued His relationship with us. Shouldn’t we in turn open the doors of communication to those outside of our comfort zones as well?
Green Valley in Nevada, just south of Las Vegas, isn’t green. And it isn’t a valley.
It’s brown and flat. Eight and a half thousand acres of it. Green Valley is a carefully planned housing initiative that has attracted thousands of people into fifty housing developments aimed at different socio-economic levels.
What’s the attraction? Well, the promoters claimed Green Valley was ?all that a community can be.? They promised that if you lived there you could enjoy life ?more than you ever did before.? And they promoted it as a secure environment to raise a family, a place where people have returned to basic values.
Green Valley is carefully planned and lined with high walls and security gates. It has rules and regulations for everything—the number of dogs and cats you can own, the plants in your garden, the color of your house, and where you can put your trash can. It’s regulated, gated, safe, but totally isolated from the rest of the community.
Is our church in danger of becoming like Green Valley? Where we close our doors on the rest of the world, have rules and regulations to keep us all safe and happy, but never look outward? Where we shut our door on a world in need? Where we don’t have to look at the suffering, the poverty, the pain? Where we form a club and sing happy songs about how Jesus has saved us, pray nice prayers, chat to our friends—and just wait for Jesus to come? Where we shut our doors of fellowship to people who don’t meet certain criteria?
Good stewards don’t keep God’s gifts to themselves. Ellen White writes: ? ? if those whom the Lord has made stewards regard their treasures as his gifts, and seek to manifest compassion, sympathy, and love for their fellow men, they are in harmony with the character of God, who gave his only begotten Son to die for their salvation? (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, p. 286). God has given us wonderful gifts for a world that desperately needs them.
Jesus could have remained in the pearly-gated community of heaven, ignoring our rebel, sin-racked world. But He came to this earth, valuing His relationship with us far above His glorious surroundings. And hanging on a cross, He showed the full extent of His love. When that grabs my heart, I have to open the doors. I can’t bury His gifts of grace in some sort of Adventist ?Green Valley.?