Regular readers will know of my passion for the nations. We love having lots of different nations gathered together in our Church. It reflects something of the heart of God.
In Genesis, the nations were scattered and different languages kicked off to thwart mankind’s plan to become like God by building a huge tower at Babel (I’ve often chuckled at architect’s desperation to continue with that plan in the major cities of the world.) Later when God called Abraham, part of that calling was to be a blessing to the nations.
Old Testament Israel’s calling as a treasured possession, a holy nation or a kingdom of priests (who mediate God to those around them) was pretty chequered. They swung between forgetting to be holy and forgetting to be priestlike to the nations around them. The nations often messed them up rather than them being a blessing to the nations.
When Jesus came he was pretty radical, ministering in the hated Samaritan areas, telling favourable stories about them and casting some demons out of someone into a herd of pigs. When he had risen from the dead and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost – the different languages suddenly spoken by the disciples was a reversal of the curse of Babel.
As the church grew, they grasped God’s big mission to have a people for Himself from the nations to bless the nations. The church is one new man in Christ – Jew and Gentile together, black and white, old and young, rich and poor. So I’m glad church can gather the nations together in Christ –that means lots of joy, God’s heart is reflected and some great food.