It is a buzz word these days. We are in a national conversation about race, sexuality, gender identity, and many other things that fall under the banner of "diversity". Sorting through these things has been a challenge and a struggle.
Our vision states "We envision a blended family of diverse people gathering together to joyfully worship King Jesus...."
What do we mean by "diversity", and why does it matter?
Towards the end of the Bible in the book of Revelation, we see the destiny of humanity. Revelation 7 paints a very compelling picture. People from a variety of nations are gathered together, but not to argue about border disputes, trade wars, or mettle in each other's affairs. A crowd is gathered from every tribe on the globe, but they aren't there to get revenge or even make a peace treaty from their conflict. People from every language group are raising their voices, but not doing so to talk over one another.
What are they doing?
People from every tribe, nation and language have gathered together to sing in unison and worship King Jesus.
Though nations and tribes across the globe hold grudges against each other for wrong's done, this colorful array of humanity is all clothed in white robes, a symbol of their sins being collectively forgiven. And though no people on earth can agree on who should be in charge, this group waves palm branches before the throne, showing their united loyalty to King Jesus.
A vast multitude of men and women from every nation, tribe, people, and language are gathered together to sing and worship King Jesus.
What a scene! To put it simply, heaven is going to be incredibly colorful, because diversity is our destiny.
This is what we mean by diversity. But why does it matter?
Because the reality of that day is breaking into this day.
God is empowering the church to be a preview of that coming day today. As sinners find their sins forgiven through the cross of Jesus and submit to Him as King, they are united to other forgiven sinners from every tribe, nation, people and language. Though they are beautifully diverse, they have a unity together in Jesus.
I know what you're thinking.
Is that even possible? Do you see how tense things are around the world? Are you aware of the black and white tensions in our country? I mean, men and women aren't even on the same page right now.
You're absolutely right.
Two things. First, this is why the church is called to the hard work of living this out and working it out...NOW. It isn't that we just pretend everything is alright, hold hands and sing "kumbaya". No, things are very very broken in our world right now, and people are incredibly divided. And so we must learn to repair what we've broke, heal what we've hurt, forgive when offended, and set things right when they've been unjust. But the power for that comes as we worship Jesus together. Which leads us to the second thing.
God will bring the Revelation 7 picture to pass. Followers of Jesus from every people, tribe, tongue and nation WILL gather together to worship Jesus. And as we recognize that it will happen, we realize we can't go backwards by dividing, separating, and becoming disjointed.
Because God is moving His people towards a destiny of unity as we worship King Jesus. And when the perfect day of unity comes to expression, there will be no more hurt, bitterness, grudges, injustices, border disputes, trade wars or racial tensions. Just this reality: "the Lamb who is at the center of the throne will shepherd them; he will guide them to springs of the waters of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." Rev. 7:17
Can you envision the "blended family of diverse people gathered together to joyfully worship King Jesus...."? Then let's gather together to worship Jesus today.
Prayer: Jesus, may the Revelation 7 picture capture our hearts, and may you bring greater and greater expressions of a blended family of diverse people into our church as we gather to worship Jesus.