Umber


The color of umber is brown. Not a dark brown but not exactly “paper sack tan” either. Truthfully it is like a lightly roasted coffee in color. Why am I bringing this up on this blog? Because there are discussions and arguments arising about the way that Jesus is portrayed in paintings and in our culture.

Some say that He should be portrayed as white, others say that He is black, actually He is neither one. Jesus was born Hebrew as a Jewish Israelite. If you have ever met someone from Israel you notice that they have skin tones which have an olive complexion. What does that mean? It means that their skin will tan easily in the sun.

Our Savior did a lot of walking throughout Judea in His lifetime, therefore He most likely was very dark-skinned where the sun struck Him. His face, arms, feet, and lower legs were likely very dark. The depiction of Him being white by artists who painted Him or otherwise portrayed Him is a nod to the culture of their day, racist though that may have been.

Our ancestors, the ones who began all of this in Eden, were very olive-skinned so that when their offspring came about a myriad of skin colors and complexions would be genetically possible. God knew then and He knows now exactly what He is doing genetically in this world. He is also giving us the ability to choose our spiritual pathway in our lives and He has been doing this from the start.

God doesn’t care if your skin color is dark or light, olive or even very darkly pigmented, He cares about your soul…your inner man. That is the part of you that lives on into eternity and your culture, your “skin tone” will likely be in eternity as well so we will all be able to see who we really are or were in our previous life on Earth. No one will lose their identity after death. Jesus spoke of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob being alive in eternity and our names and all that we have done in the service of God will follow us into eternity too.

Living here in this life is far different from what we will see or know in Heaven and for those who won’t give their hearts to Jesus, their eternity will be a true living hell. The descriptions of hell are varied but the regrets and the separation from God’s love and all that we have known in this life will be with us through eternity. The color of your skin, your culture, your lifestyle or how much money you had on Earth will mean NOTHING!

I was given a very tiny glimpse into heaven once and the gold streets are pure enough to shine like the Sun and the gold is like glass. Some of the buildings are made of a substance like opals only more pure and clear with walls a cubit or more thick. They reflect God’s glory with all of the colors imaginable but a description would not do them justice at all.

The descriptions found in the Bible are man’s attempt at describing things which our minds can’t comprehend fully, so I can’t either. Race doesn’t mean anything in the end. We are all God’s children and all of us are descended from Adam and Eve, since God cannot lie I don’t understand why we deny that we are all related.

The significance of the Word


You don’t just read a cookbook, you fix and eat the meal. It is the same way with the Bible, God’s Word, if you don’t assimilate it, no matter how much you appreciate it, what good is it? And with the Bible, it means that you are to take it into your mind, to thoroughly comprehend it, to use it as nourishment for your mind and heart and your eternal soul!

Just as with a cookbook, the words and the recipes don’t help you much by just reading them. Reading the recipe of a fabulous meal or dish is not very satisfying, you have to do something with the information that you have in front of you. It is the same with the Bible. Read it, of course, study it and think on what you have read…definitely, then you have to put it into practice. Just as the recipe won’t do you any good if you don’t put your hands to work and put it together and cook it, God’s Word won’t help you in your daily life unless you act on it and use it!

Our lives are complex and we meet people in all sorts of situations every day. In many of our situations, we don’t interact with too many of those that we meet very much, especially not today. We text, we tweet, we post on social media, occasionally we will call someone, but we rarely speak to each other. It is even more rare that we sit down and have an actual conversation about our lives and the things which make our lives meaningful!

Why have we moved away from the interaction that was once a daily activity just as walking or breathing? Too much stuff has gotten in the way I believe. Too much technology is interfering with our lives. Especially when it comes to family members and our friends, we turn to our phones and our computers more often than we do to our pastor or our next door neighbour.

God’s Word is alive and it has been with us for over two millennia, yet it is not a book which is out of date. It is fresh and new to all who read it. The wisdom which it contains is relevant to today in the twenty-first century just as it was when it was written. It seems that many people think that coming to church on Sunday or having a Bible in their house does the trick and makes their lives better. Coming to church can do that and the fellowship which we have there does help us, but don’t leave the teaching that you receive on the pew.

The Bible, like a cookbook, won’t do you any good at all unless you open it, read it and apply it to your life. Allowing it to collect dust in your home doesn’t help your spiritual life because you aren’t taking in any spiritual nourishment to help you to grow in your walk with God. He sent the Word to us through His prophets and scribes so that we could learn of His love for us and so that we can learn of His wisdom.

Don’t just read it like a history book or an interesting book but as the actual Word of God. It is Truth, it is also a Life-giving book and a book of truth and wisdom, not of mankind’s wisdom but from God Himself! Apply its wisdom and words to your life so that others will benefit from your walk with Jesus. After all, He is the Living Word made flesh which dwelt among men. Take Him with you in your heart and in your everyday life, because without Him nothing has any meaning or substance in all of Creation.