Scattering and Gathering
Tomorrow, when eyes from earth’s here and now look backward through historians’ telescopes, they will recoil at some of the horrors that compel their vision—wretched Nassars and Weinsteins in sport and entertainment, brutal Taliban, ISIL and Al-Shabaab in holy war, murderous Harvey and Maria signatures affixed to our natural disasters. Beyond these, tectonic political shifts and sustained people disruptions on the scale of millions across the globe: change and outrage too frightening for credence or stability!
As recounted in the following pages, Seventh-day Adventist history has documented its own times and events of growth and gathering, dispersion and scattering. The church’s fluctuating fortunes in Battle Creek, Michigan, or South Lancaster and Boston, Massachusetts, may be for some the ultimate disaster conceivable. For others it is testimony to the adage that in our world the thing that is most constant is change.The illuminating truth that has given and still offers firm anchorage in times of radical change is the knowledge that whether they be times of dismaying disruption or disconcerting destabilization, “through all the play and counterplay of human interests and power and passions,” God All-Merciful has been and will ever be the Constant, “silently, patiently working out the counsels of His own will” (Ellen G. White, Education, p. 173). That will guarantees His children that one day soon we shall hear His summoning voice say, “Come, . . . inherit the kingdom prepared” (Matt. 25:34, NKJV). —Editors