Across much of the United States bitter cold, severe winter weather is arriving this week. The reports of below-zero “wind chill” temperatures, high winds and snow will impact travel. The cold will even reach into Florida, where below freezing overnight temperatures are forecast this weekend.
This Sabbath weekend is scheduled to bring together one of the largest annual gatherings of God’s people. The Winter Family Weekend here in Cincinnati, which hasn’t been able to be held the last two years, has been being planned for months. Around 1,000 people including families, teens, young adults and many others have registered for this event that provides the opportunity for fellowship, seminars, sports and dances, all “kicked off” on the Sabbath with a Friday night Bible study and Bible-based seminars and Sabbath services.
Besides the WFW in Cincinnati, there is a Northwest Weekend in Portland, Oregon, this weekend, and the Teen Winter Camp in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, is scheduled for Dec. 26 through Jan. 1. So, many of us will be in transit over the next several days, traveling to these events. May I ask that we all pray for one another, that God will keep us safe, watch over us and always guide us?
Beyond those who are traveling, with the extreme cold across the country, let’s pray for and keep an “eye out” for the elderly, widows and others who may need assistance in keeping warm and having what they need. Key to our calling and growing in the agape love God desires in all of us is to be aware of the “needs of our brother” and to make sure we meet those needs when we have the opportunity (1 John 3:16-18).
As we face extreme conditions, we are reminded that our God is most powerful, and He has control over everything—even the weather. As I read in a sermon a few Sabbaths ago, He reminds us of this, and we yield to and accept His will, always learning what He wants us to learn:
“God thunders marvelously with His voice;He does great things which we cannot comprehend.
“For He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth’;Likewise to the gentle rain and the heavy rain of His strength.
“From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind,And cold from the scattering winds of the north.
“By the breath of God ice is given,And the broad waters are frozen.
“Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds;He scatters His bright clouds.
“And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance,That they may do whatever He commands them On the face of the whole earth.
“He causes it to come,Whether for correction, Or for His land, Or for mercy” (Job 37:5-6, 9-13).
Brethren, God willing, we look forward to seeing many of you in Cincinnati this weekend, and, God willing, all areas will be able to conduct regular Sabbath services this week.
If perchance you cannot be at Sabbath services in your area this week, please be reminded that Sabbath services from the Winter Family Weekend will be webcast at ucg.org/webcast at 2:30 pm EST this Sabbath.