THE SMELL of hotdogs sizzling over an open grill wafted through the air. Faint sounds of lively music drifted into the streets. Each beat ricocheted off the downtown buildings and then made a thumping sensation in your chest. The pulsing grew stronger and stronger, the closer you moved towards First Baptist Church Tullahoma (FBCT.) There, across the train tracks, were bright and colorful inflatable slides towering over a couple of hundred rambunctious children. What is all of this commotion? Hundreds of tiny voices chanted the joyous answer, shouting “JESUS IS ALIVE!”
On Saturday, April 16, 2022, FBCT hosted the Second Annual Color Dash for children in elementary school and below. Children and Families Minister Michael Martin shared, “The Color Dash is an event designed for us to connect with the community, be a blessing to the community, and remind our community that we are here.” Martin, who has been on staff with FBCT since 2019, shared that the outreach event was a big hit last year, bringing about 175-200 children and their families out on the Saturday before Easter Sunday. This year’s event was just as exciting, if not more fun!
The Color Dash was laid out like an obstacle course. You could find kids in white shirts jumping over hale bales, climbing through hula hoops, inching across a balance beam, etc. Simultaneously, church volunteers would toss colored powder into the air above the children, making the sea of white shirts into a sea of pastels. Before the start of the dash, all of the energetic kids gathered around and listened to a back-story surrounding the Color Dash event. What many were unaware of was the colors chosen to be used for the messy fun happening in just a few moments, were not randomly selected. Instead, they were explicitly chosen to act as visual representations of a greater story– The Gospel Story of Jesus Christ.
The color purple represented sin and the fact that we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Accordingly, we all stand helpless, in need of a savior. The color red represented Jesus and His death on the cross. Hundreds of children and their family members heard, “Jesus loves you. He died for you and wants a relationship with you.” All of this was made possible by His red bloodshed on the cross. The color blue represented water baptism for those who had chosen to follow Jesus and desired to make that decision public. Green powder thrown into the air meant a healthy and vibrant relationship with God, growing closer to Him. Pretty pink puffs of powder floating in the air signified a new heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” This new heart is humble and tender and being healed and put back together by Jesus. Lastly, when yellow splattered on shirts and shoes alike, it was supposed to mirror the streets of gold in heaven. While all of creation groans now, living in pain and suffering, scripture portrays heaven as a place where “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” (Revelation 21:4-5)
Prior to the event, Martin shared, “We want people to feel God’s love and share His message of salvation.” From the looks and sound of it, FBCT achieved this intention with flying colors. For more information about FBCT, visit their website at fbctullahoma.org -GN