By Jon Roberts  — Cody, Wyoming … “’Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight.’  I believe those words today ought to be near to the heart of us (all).” With these words Ed Barnett, RMC president, opened his challenging message for the attendees of Wyoming virtual camp meeting on Wednesday morning, July 15.

With an acknowledgement of the vast diversity present in the Rocky Mountain Conference, current affairs affecting the nation were at the center of the online messages. From COVID-19 to recent protests against racial division, which also took place in Casper and Cheyenne among other communities, were addressed in a series “How Jesus Treated People”.  Examples of Jesus’ love and mission were given in the context of who we are as Seventh-day Adventist today.

“We as Christians ought to be living out God’s love for all people,” Pastor Barnett, stated.  “Prejudice comes in many different forms. Sometimes we think it is only about an issue of color.”

He went on to state prejudice comes not only in color, the wealth of an individual, their gender, or any other differences.  Barnett stated we need to learn to treat others as Jesus treated individuals.

The RMC president shared personal experiences growing up in a mainly Caucasian background and then having to face diversity when his family moved to a multi-ethnic portion of the country his junior year of academy.  He shared the challenging obstacles he had to overcome and the different cultures he was exposed to.

The message continued with the story about the Samaritan woman at the well, sharing how she was not only judged because of her gender, but condemned by rumors in the community. She had to wait till the noon hour to go to the well to avoid being seen by the community.  Barnett explained how Jesus didn’t ignore the woman or show prejudice against the woman’s circumstances, but instead engaged her in a life-changing conversation.

“Jesus set a high standard for each one of us.  As His disciples today, we must love as He loved.  We cannot allow prejudice to be part of our lives,” Barnett challenged. “If you have a prejudiced thought in your mind or in your life, go to God and ask Him to cleanse your life of any prejudice that He can find.”

Attendees left with an understanding of how to live out, as Seventh-day Adventists Christians, the great commission of Jesus in loving everyone no matter what.

To view the entire message please click here.

–Jon Roberts is RMC communication / media assistant; photo by Rajmund Dabrowski