When the two campuses of my church combine for worship, we sing each verse and chorus twice; once in English and once in Spanish. I’m a lousy singer with limited range, so belting out a Chris Tomlin bridge twice in a row is difficult, but it is so worth it. I apologize to everyone in my proximity during worship for my pitch problems, but I am grateful for the experience. You see, it is a glimpse of heaven.
In heaven, we see the glory of every nation assimilated into one beautiful jambalaya. It’s like heavenly Epcot. Imagine a feast that includes sushi from Japan, barbecue from the U.S., curry from India, and basically any dish from Brazil. Revelation does not describe the menu for the wedding feast, but I would be willing to bet that as you speculate as to what the menu will be, you imagine foods from your own culture. One beautiful thing about heaven is that it will be the ultimate culture; a nation centered around Christ in the direct presence of God as He dwells with men. We will all bring our cultural pieces together and assimilate them into praise for God.
So, why wait?
Over 1 million Christians are uniting in a beautiful and simple way this spring. They are studying the book of Acts together at the same time; following a shared reading plan and telling their stories with the hashtag “#prayerACTS” as they live out what the book of Acts teaches. Cultural tensions are high and divisions are deep. Christians alone can lead the way to a movement in reconciliation; particularly among the races, but what are we to do about the obvious segregation among churches? It sends a mixed message to society.
Churches tend to be comprised of people of the same ethnicity for a variety of reasons and not all of them are necessarily bad. Shared ethnicity often brings with it shared cultural tastes in music and aesthetics. So, congregations comprised predominantly of a given race are not necessarily being exclusionary. Rather, they are merely converging upon a worship experience that aligns with their cultural distinctives. However, does secular society understand that? There exists also a myriad of negative reasons for the church’s segregation; the unseen after effects of hatred and the disheartening results of economic hardship.
We may not realistically be able to demolish our sanctuaries, relocate into ethnically heterogeneous communities, and build new places of worship that resemble heaven – such an overhaul would actually be a bad thing in some cases. However, we can all come together and unite over our shared love of God’s perfect Word. Let’s study ongoing the story of how our churches began and live out what the text teaches us in our own contexts; sharing our stories over social media at #prayerACTS.
Here is how you can join this beautiful and simple movement of over 1 million. Start with this panel video including Dr. Tony Evans, take full advantage of all the resources we are giving away under the “Freebies” section, and let us know you have joined the movement.
¡Sean bendecidos, mis hermanos y hermanas en Cristo!