The diverse family of God - 2 baptisms, February 2022.
Revelation 7:9-10 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
I love these verses, and I can't wait to not only read about this moment but experience it, celebrating with my brothers and sisters from various cultures, nations, languages and even times throughout history, together, giving praise to the one who deserves all glory and honor!
I loved not only the idea of getting to experience it one day, but I loved the idea of having a multi-cultural church I could be a part of that could be a small glimpse into what this future scene would look like.
But, I was planting in Iceland, we are most likely up there as the most ethnically and culturally homogenous places on earth, we've been isolated, stuck on a rock in the middle of the Atlantic for over a thousand years, which is why our language hasn't changed much from the old Viking norse, we had no other cultures that influenced our language or culture, and that's also why most of us are blond or redheads, with very pale skins, so as much as I loved the idea of a multicultural church, in my mind, that was simply not going to happen, so I would settle for waiting eagerly to experience this epic future scene before the throne of God.
Well, it turns out that you can make your plans, but God directs your steps (Prov. 16:9), and also, It's not the church planter and his plans that build the church, it's Jesus who builds his church (Matt. 16:18), did you know that?
To my surprise foreigners started coming, and let me remind you, for American standards, and probably most other places in the world, our church is a very small church, on a good Sunday we may have something like 50 adults gathering with 10-15 kids, and for that amount of people God decided to make us incredibly diverse, here's a list of nations that have been represented in our church:
Well, today we yet again got to not only celebrate another couple getting baptized, but also how God is working in other places around the world, even where following Jesus comes at a great cost.
We got to hear the testimony of how a lady with the hope of Jesus even in the face of financial need and diagnosis that gave her 6 months to live shared with them the hope she had in Jesus, and they saw it even in how she lived.
Again, our church has a reminder that we are each called to carry the torch of the gospel into our everyday life, and be the light even when surrounded by darkness, pointing to and living out the hope we have in Jesus.
Praise God, the lady who had 6 months to live met them 3 years ago, and 2 years ago they became followers of Jesus, and praise God, that the lady who had 6 months to live 3 years ago, by the grace of God is still alive today.