The Beauty of Unity

C.S. Lewis once said, “In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not.”

People from villages all over come to our town each year to show off their tribe’s “sing-sing”. Papua New Guineans don’t consider grass skirts their everyday dress, so this is an opportunity to “bilas” (think bling-bling, but tropical tribal style).
My husband, Mike, and I walk around to see each group’s bilas, and I find myself getting bumped into by a topless lady in a feathery headdress and leaf coverings who is dancing to the beat of the kundu drum. The sing-sing seems to take on a life of its own, and I find myself laughing as I’m the foreign observer weaving through this thick crowded dance that seems to be from a land of make-believe. 

I couldn’t help that day but think about when we will all be gathered together to worship our King in a dance of vivid color and riotous sound. It will be a roaring song from a multitude too great to count, made up of people purchased by God from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.

The Tower of Babel was the last time we were all gathered together as one. This is the opposite of what Revelation describes. Men worked in unity, but for a purpose that opposed God’s good order. They chose to disobey. Some thought they could climb it and save themselves if another flood ever came. What lack of faith! God had even gave them a rainbow as a regular reminder of His faithfulness to His promise! They wanted to find god their own way by reaching the heavens and creating a room decorated in glazed blue tile with the sun and moon and five known planets all lined up along the plane of the zodiac. In the center of this room would be their god.

Satan must have relished at the big blow he devised to destroy God’s glory when everyone together disobeyed.  

God Himself even admitted: “This is only the beginning of what they will do.”
But here is what I love: Nothing is impossible for God. Our disobedience and the chaos it created doesn’t get the final say! In fact, God delights to turn everything upside down to prove His awesome power. The Holy Spirit appears at Pentecost. God allowed believers from many languages to communicate with one another for the purpose of devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching. God used the chaos of multiple languages for His glory and as evidence of His indwelling and allowing believers to communicate within the early church.

I see this being played out in my daily life too as Mike flies through clouds and down into dense jungle where there are villages with little grass huts. The entire world is full of people, and God has not forgotten one of them - even if they are hidden from the rest of the world. The fact that God filled the earth with people and did not forget any one of them shows the magnitude of omnipresence.
Even though we were once divided into multiple languages because we said, “Let us make a name for ourselves”, the end of the story is the opposite. That rebellious group who teamed up? Jesus purchases with his blood persons out of every nation, tribe, and tongue. Once scattered because the effects of our sin provided the potential for immense iniquity, we are now all gathered together as a kingdom that cannot be shaken. The enemy’s schemes have no power in heaven and all men lay down their crowns and cry, “Let us exalt Him!”

Cornerstone, when you meet together and blend your Spanish, Farsi, and English into song, may it heighten your desire for God’s glory to be made known to all people. Just as communion is the way we proclaim Jesus' death until He comes, multilingual worship gives us a glimpse of our future reality. The world may fight and war against God and His truth, but ultimately He will win the victory and every knee will bow before Him.