Our car pulled in to our driveway after picking me up from my very long journey across Africa this past month with Lahash. It was good to be reunited with my family. It was good to be home. And it was so good to think back on all God had done during the past several weeks!
One thing I’ve been pondering recently is the reality of God’s big, beautiful family.
Over the course of the past 2,000 years – Christianity has spread to almost every corner of this earth. An estimated 2.2 billion people call themselves Christians on our planet. There are Bible studies happening in Seoul, prayer meetings in Cairo, missionaries being commissioned in Rio de Janeiro, preaching occurring in Houston, worship services in Fiji, house churches meeting across China, and revivals happening in Lagos.
God has a big, beautiful family!
During our past conference in Nairobi, Kenya we together shared a time of the Lord’s Supper (or Communion or Eucharist). Here we were – a random collection of people from seven nations and many different denominations all uniting together as one body, with one faith, one Lord, and one baptism.
During my travels I was also struck by the sometimes hidden and yet inherently beautiful gatherings of Christ’s people across Africa. The urgent prayers, the recited Word of God, the passionate worship all still ring in my ears. It is a transcendent and awe-inspiring feeling to collide with other believers and instantly have so much in common with them because of the shared bond of Jesus Christ and his undeserved grace.
Encountering diverse believers from around the world changes me.
I am humbled.
I see Scripture and my cultural religious trappings in a new light.
I better know how to pray for my brothers and sisters.
I see the strengths of other believers and am challenged to grow.
My heart breaks as I see the pain and suffering many are experiencing.
And I am in awe of the power of God to sustain his people through the trials of life.
Too many times I get myopic vision. I focus on my nuclear family. I focus on my commute. I focus on heart-breaking global news. I focus on relational struggles. I focus on financial concerns. I focus on myself and my needs for the day.
But thankfully God often breaks in and shatters my small myopic vision.
He reveals another part of his big, beautiful family.
He reveals that I am a vital part of this family – but only just a small, humble part of the beautiful whole. He’s the one who’s in the process of redeeming, purifying, empowering, and loving us. It is his vision. It is his family.
His eternal, big, beautiful family!