Scripture Reading — Revelation 7:9-17
There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language.
Revelation 7:9 —
Sergei, our Russian ministry leader, was conducting me through an art gallery in downtown Moscow. As we visited a room that displayed art from the Soviet era, he paused before a large canvas that showed young adults, from different parts of the old Soviet Union, carrying high a flag, with broad smiles on their faces.
“Do you see this painting?” he asked. “This painting portrayed the hope of communism: diverse people from across the Soviet Union, united by the same political ideology, living together in harmony under the communist banner.”
Of course, we know that communism didn’t have the power to deliver on that vision. In fact, no ideology, including socialism, capitalism, or libertarianism, is able to deliver on that kind of vision.
The hope of that vision is fulfilled only in Christ. The key to ethnic and national unity is in the picture described in Revelation 7, with people of all nations “standing before the throne and before the Lamb,” and with the same song on their lips.
How do you overcome the world’s divisions? We no longer think another round of high-level political talks will do much good. We need a rediscovery of the Revelation vision. In spite of its fragmentation, the church of Christ is God’s sign of the unity he intends for all peoples.
Lord, keep us from running after answers that fail to deliver. May our worship this Sunday be a foretaste of that glorious day when all nations sing to Christ the same song of salvation. Amen.