Saturday, January 7, 2017

Trans-cultural Orchestra

(written by Pastor Joe)
The word for today: Revelation 7
mark this: v. 9-10 --
After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
Culture is the defining characteristic for most of the earth's people. How can it not be? It is the very air that we breathe, the food we eat, the way of life that shapes us.
A paragraph found in the blog from back in January 30, 2010 sums this up:
"Geography isn't everything- but it almost is. In other words, you are not defined by where you were born or live, but those places have a huge role in your life. Think, for example the difference of being born in Medina, NY versus Medina, Saudi Arabia Or ponder the difference between growing up in Calexico, California versus its sister city, Mexicali, Mexico. (Just two miles and two worlds apart)."
This also applies to the religious beliefs from around the world. Generally, we are told that if you want to find out a person's faith, all you have to do is find out where they were born. If it is Rio de Janeiro, then they must be Catholic. If its New Delhi, then they must be Hindu. If its Dubai, they must be Muslim. If its Sri Lanka, they must be Buddhist.
But as we look at today's passage, you will see that God has much bigger aspirations than just a particular country or continent. In the Bible, even as God worked through specific people (e.g Abraham) and specific nations (i.e. Israel); the whole purpose of those interactions as seen here and in Revelation 5:9 was to, with Christ's blood, "purchase men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation."
I praise God that the good news of Jesus Christ, the Gospel message, is so much bigger than any culture or country or even continent. The Gospel is indeed "trans-cultural" in ways that no other belief system is. Islam is locked into the Arabic language (of which only 5% of the world's population can read). Hinduism is locked into its own caste system. Every other belief system has major limitations by its geography and culture.
But the Word of God is not limited by such distinctions, because the person of Jesus is bigger than man made categories. This revolutionary message was preached by the apostle Paul as he wrote: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28) That is why the Gospel applies to the young and old, the rich and the poor, the educated and uneducated, and everyone in between.
We don't preach a color or race or culture or language or location or geography or class or caste or birthplace. We preach Christ crucified for everyone who has ever set foot upon our little planet-- because He alone is bigger than everything that divides and categorizes us. Wherever you go, whoever you speak to, Jesus Christ applies. And you can't say that about anyone else.

No comments:

Post a Comment