After this I saw a vast crowd, too great to count, from every nation and tribe and people and language, standing in front of the throne and before the Lamb. They were clothed in white robes and held palm branches in their hands. And they were shouting with a great roar, “Salvation comes from our God who sits on the throne and from the Lamb!” Revelation 7:9-10 (NLT)
If you look at the news for even a brief minute, you don't have to wait long to hear about the different tensions felt in our world. There is news of racial tensions, religious tensions, news about the upper, middle and lower classes. No matter where you look, there is a lot of focus on our differences.
Recently, my nephew asked about this - not directly, the question was about something more specific - but it made me start to think about these things at a very subconscious level. You see, we are different races, my nephew and I. I am white and he is not so we see things differently. So while I may have noticed these things, I didn't really process it in the same way he does for obvious reasons.
Suddenly, I came across this verse. And I could see the crowds of people standing together, worshiping God. Imagine it: all different faiths, nationalities, economic levels, and a rainbow of every color imaginable. Praising with our hearts and voices raised and what we see isn't the differences in the folks next to us but Jesus. All we see is Jesus. Because nothing else matters.
Heaven. That's what that sounds like to me. Jesus says we should be living out heaven here on earth. What kind of world would it be if we stopped looking at our differences and start looking at our similarities? More importantly, what if we stop focusing on the stuff that doesn't matter and focus on what does. Jesus.
What kind of world would it be if we all lived our life understanding that Jesus came and died for all of us, not just the folks who were like us?