Painting with Yellow

“Painting with Yellow”

 “Yellow tells the whole story: life can begin all over again because of the truth of God’s love. Each of us, whether with actual yellows or metaphorical yellows, can begin to paint our lives with the fresh hope of a new beginning.”

Scot McKnight, The Jesus Creed

 The Raising of Lazarus by van Gough

The Raising of Lazarus by van Gough


            Vincent van Gough didn’t use much yellow in creating his stunning artwork, at least not during one dark period of life. His most famous painting, The Starry Night has few touches of yellow as seen in flickering stars and a pale moon. Van Gough then believed that there was little truth to be found in the world. Whatever truth there was out there would be located only in nature. He created The Starry Night in one of his most depressive moments of life—and van Gough had many.

            And yet, Vincent van Gough possessed a deep and trusting faith in Christ. At another time in his life, van Gough painted the brilliant The Raising of Lazarus. The painting glows with yellow; for Vincent van Gough believed in a strong and loving God.  Scot McKnight writes of the color yellow and the artist Vincent van Gough, “Yellow evoked (for him) the hope and warmth of the truth of God’s love . . . Yellow tells the whole story: life can begin all over again because of the truth of God’s love.”

            Thompson Church: I want to hand you a paint brush dripping with bright yellow paint. Go ahead and start painting lives and the world yellow. Let yellow be the color of choice for our congregation; and let us be more than anything else, people with hope.

            This week I met Beverly Haberele and Stephen Osborne of Pro-Act of the Council of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Bev and Stephen are neighbors of ours. Bev is an active member of the Doylestown Presbyterian Church. For forty years, Bev has been helping individuals and families in Bucks County who are wrestling against the powers of addiction. Tragically, many lose the fight and end up in prison or a cemetery.

            Bev shared with me some statistics out of Bucks County:

·         Between 1999 and 2010 opioid and analgesics prescriptions increased from 75.5 million to 209.5 million.

·         Every day, more than 2,500 teenagers abuse prescription medications for the first time.

·         Overdose deaths in Bucks County have more than doubled in the past five years (136 deaths in 2009; 272 in 2013 and over 400 in 2014.

·         50% of those deaths were of people under the age of 24.

·         Heroin was specified in half of the deaths.

As a follower of Jesus, Bev knows better than most that there are powers and forces of darkness behind these heart-breaking figures. But Bev also knows the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In her view, the church needs to share the hope of God’s love as widely as possible. Start painting the world yellow.

On this coming Sunday, January 31, we gather as one congregation at 9:30 A.M. in Fellowship Hall. You will hear about 12 Initiatives borne from our Strategic Plan. These initiatives are all loaded with opportunities for the sharing of hope. Make sure you take your place with your Church Family. Come and be prepared to paint the town . . . yellow.


For a summary of the Strategic Planning Process, click here:


For the details of the Initiatives, click here.


Be sure to join us for our next Fifth Sunday

January 31, 2016 at 9:30 A.M. in Fellowship Hall