The Gifts of the Nations
Scripture Reading — Revelation 21:15-27
The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.
Revelation 21:24 —
One of the great delights of visiting ministries around the world is the opportunity to worship with other Christians. I’ve gathered with Sudanese Christians in an immigrant church in Cairo, African brothers and sisters in Congo, Japanese worshipers in Tokyo, and Indonesian seekers from rural areas of Java. While Christ is at the core of every worship experience, each group of worshippers reflects their own culture. Songs, music, and liturgy differ. And the wonderful thing is that our Lord likes it that way!
The new Jerusalem of Revelation 21 is a picture of the new creation Christ will establish at his return. The twelve gates of the city open in every direction, symbolic of the way God’s kingdom is open to peoples and nations from every corner of the globe. And through those gates, we are told, “The kings of the earth will bring their splendor.” We also learn that “the glory and honor of the nations will be brought into [the new creation].”
God’s new creation will be pure and holy. But that doesn’t mean there will be no continuity with God’s old creation. The purified cultural gifts of every people will find their place in God’s new world. What an encouragement to begin today to claim our world for Christ’s lordship! What are you doing today that will have lasting value for eternity?
Lord, you call us to unfold the incredible potential of our world. Help us to build well today as we look toward eternity, to your honor and glory. Amen.