November 26, 2022

An International Meal

Revelation 21:22-27

The nations will walk by [God’s glorious] light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into [the city of God].

—  Revelation 21:24

Years ago, my wife and I were a part of a church that had a weekly community meal. Anyone and everyone was invited. The variety of different people who showed up simply because there was good food and good fellowship was amazing. Little babies and gray heads, men and women, people in different income brackets, and people from different countries and ethnic backgrounds. Many of these people brought unique meals to share.

This often reminded me of John’s beautiful vision of life in the city of God: people from all nations and languages flood into God’s renewed city on earth, each one bringing the best of their culture into it, to praise God and to bless others. And because the Spirit of God gives a foretaste of what Christ will do when he returns, I believe we can experience, even now, a bit of what John saw in his vision.

When you gather with other believers for a meal—and perhaps even for the Jesus-meal—are there ways you can honor and identify with the cultures of the people in your church family? For example, different kinds of bread or juice might enrich our sense of welcome. In Kenya, where I live, grape juice is not readily available, so sometimes people have used an orange drink for the Lord’s Supper! Also, let’s remember folks who are not yet a part of God’s family. All are invited to join!

Lord, you have gathered many different people into your body, the church. We praise you in Jesus’ name. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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