May 21, 2024

A Great Multitude

Revelation 7:9-17

There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.

—  Revelation 7:9

In our campus ministry we gather at 5:30 on Thursday afternoons for a time of worship, Bible study, and prayer. We also break bread and enjoy fellowship together. On one occasion, we had 16 people gathered from nine different countries. They were from Africa, Asia, Europe, the Caribbean, and North and South America. Sometimes people say that Christianity is a “Western” religion, but God’s kingdom is made up of people from all over the world! Sadly, in Europe and North America, the church is growing stale. Countless congregations across Canada, the United States, and Western Europe have closed. Many others are struggling to remain open. Weekly attendance at worship services has been decreasing. Yet newcomers from other lands are breathing new life into our worshiping communities. Though many newcomers arrive in the “West” lacking financial resources, they often come with an amazing, infectious passion for Jesus Christ. We do well to embrace and enfold our brothers and sisters in Christ, seeking together to build revitalized worshiping communities. This helps us to glimpse what John describes in Revelation 7. It is hard to find anything more beautiful than worshiping together with people of every nation.

Lord, thank you for breathing new life into our churches through newcomers from all nations. Keep growing your kingdom, we pray, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — George Koopmans

George Koopmans has served as an ecumenical chaplain at Medicine Hat College in Medicine Hat, Alberta, since November 2021. Prior to entering into chaplaincy, George served as a pastor to two congregations—one in Minnesota (Luverne), and the other in Medicine Hat. George and his wife, Emily, have four adult daughters and three grandchildren. Hiking, biking, and birdwatching are his favorite hobbies.

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