Monday, October 17, 2011


A friend told me leaves turn red, orange, and yellow, but never purple. I found several purple leaves this fall. Did you? By now, however, most fallen leaves are brown and disintegrating. Saturday I did see some trees still dressed in their brilliant hues as I traveled to Crivitz to give a talk at the public library. Crivitz is near the town of Peshtigo, which is situated on Lake Michigan and which lost 1,500 people to fire the same day of the Great Chicago Fire during the logging days. They certainly experienced vivid colors that day, but not the kind we like to see.


The Colors of God

A riot of autumn colors brought out my camera. Everywhere I turned, I saw a snapshot of God’s character. All the colors of the rainbow are evident in Autumn, and they’re the same hues evident in the Bible.

The rainbow colors that paint our world with beauty come from God’s light, which He created at the beginning of time. During creation, God proclaimed the light as “good.” From His light come the rainbow colors that show His glory.

The colors we see in the natural world have spiritual meaning, too. The color red, for instance, represents the sacrificial blood of Christ. Isaiah 1:18 reads, “’Come now, and let us reason together,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.’” Christ willingly took our sins upon Himself that we might be cleansed as white as snow. When we see the blood-red maple and sumac leaves, we are reminded of Jesus’ supreme sacrifice for our benefit.

The brilliant oranges of autumn signify several things: praise and passion, joy and power, fruitfulness and harvest. My mind automatically leaps to thoughts about the Holy Spirit when I see orange. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus’ followers as tongues of fire. The orange flame of a God’s Spirit-fire burns hot in our hearts when we allow it.

Our northern poplars and birch shimmer like gold coins on a sunny day. Gold is the color of God’s holiness which shines in our hearts as He releases His strength and energy to us so we can produce His good works. “But be doers of the Word, and not hearers only.” (James 1:22)

The green of conifers contrasts richly with the changing colors of deciduous trees. Green is the color of plant life and speaks of growth. In spiritual terms, it’s called sanctification. God would have all of us “Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18)

The blue of the sky reminds us of heaven, from which Jesus came to earth to save us from our sins and in which we will someday spend eternity with Him, if we have surrendered ourselves to His perfect will.

If we hunt for them, we can even find purple leaves in the fall. The color purple symbolizes Jesus’ royalty. He forever wears the crown and robe of righteousness and majesty and power.

Lord, we thank You for the rich variety of color in autumn which reminds us of Your love for us. Help us to learn more about You through Your marvelous gifts of nature. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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