After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude no one could count, from every nation, people, tribe, and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands. And the cried out in a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God, and to the Lamb who sits on the throne."
And that's what I'm doing this weekend. Nope, I am not predicting my own death or even Christ's second coming. I am spending the weekend worshipping Creator God with a great multitude. From around the world.
And I am SO excited.
What's going on? Well, two ecumenical bodies who represent Reformed churches around the world are dissolving and merging to create on representative body of Reformed peoples. The Reformed Ecumenical Council (REC) represents 75 national church bodies around the world and the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) represents about 200 national church bodies. Joining to make the World Communion of Reformed Churches, this body will represent 80 million Christians world-wide. From every continent (well, except Antarctica) and many nations.
(Want to learn more? Check out the website for specifics.http://www.reformedchurches.org/index.html)
The meeting to both dissolve the two previous bodies and join together a new group is taking place here this weekend. And I get to be a part of it. Nope, I don't have any official role--I'm not a delegate or steward. I am a volunteer. And in this capacity I get to meet people from around the world: show them my college (where everything is taking place), my town, my church, and my family. About 1,000 people are arriving from around the world: Latvia, Uganda, Malawi, Indonesia.
Two highlights everyone should know about (and kick themselves if they live here and can't find a way to experience this). First, Sunday at 4 p.m. is an ecumenical worship service at which over 6,000 people are expected to worship our one God! 6,000 people unified in worship, 6,000 people singing praises to our Holy God. The Holy Spirit poured out on all of us. A mess of languages, peoples, nations, and tribes worshipping together. A true glimpse of heaven. I won't miss this opportunity.
Second, on Tuesday afternoon/evening there will be a Pow-wow downtown where people from around the world will experience our land's cultural heritage. The Pow-wow will be attended by Native Americans and First People's from both the US and Canada. There will be a drum-line and dance circle. I am attending as both a volunteer and a parent. I get to show my kids that God works all around the world--they get to meet people from everywhere, experience God's spirit, and show them part of our nation's heritage.
Yeah, some of this has been inconvenient for my family--I am paying for childcare for some of my volunteering and Eric is giving up golf to volunteer with me on Father's Day. But I wouldn't miss this for the world.
The world is coming here.
And I am going to meet it.
Praise be to God!