In a June 3 article on the Adventist Review website entitled “A Time for Compassion and Healing: Our Christ-Centered Mission,” General Conference President Ted Wilson shared the following message:
In this time of pain and unrest across the United States, our hearts continue to go out in sympathy to all who have suffered, and especially to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, whose lives ended tragically.
As Seventh-day Adventists, we stand together worldwide in condemning racism, bigotry, hatred, prejudice, and violence in all of its myriad forms. We know that God is a God of justice, who sees and knows all, and we look to Him to fulfill His Word when He says, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Rom. 12:19).
On behalf of the Seventh-day Adventist worldwide family, I have sent letters of condolence to the families of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, expressing our sorrow for the tragic loss of their loved ones and stating unequivocally that as Seventh-day Adventists we stand strongly on the biblical principles that go against hatred, rage, racism, bigotry, evil surmising, prejudice, and more, and offered the families support, hope, and encouragement through God’s Church. In addition, we are sending each family a small, tangible indication of sympathy and practical encouragement in the form of an edible fruit arrangement, facilitated through Oakwood University’s connection with Edible Arrangements.
I encourage you, too, as a Seventh-day Adventist, to reach out to these and other individuals within your local community, bringing, in a practical way, the peace, comfort, hope and courage that only Christ can provide as we follow His example in ministry outlined in Luke 4:18. As Christians, we seek to practice, through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit — “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control” (Gal. 5:22-23). While the world is filled with wickedness and sorrow, let us take encouragement from God’s Word in helping us to find a better way. Jesus Christ is central, as He is the only One who can truly change a person’s heart in this sin-filled world.
God calls us to shine as lights in this dark, sin-sick world, pointing all to Jesus Christ, our Savior, and ministering in a tangible way to those who are in need physically, socially, emotionally, mentally, and most importantly, spiritually. “A large number of precious souls are groping in darkness, yet longing and weeping and praying for light” (Ellen White, Counsels to Writers and Editors, p. 65).
Let us ask God to guide us as we reach out with healing hearts and hands, ministering to those who are needing hope and healing now.
And as we look to the future, let us never forget that one day very soon, Jesus Christ will come again and take all those who love Him to a much better place, where “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away” (Rev. 21:4).