by Jenny Rose Wilson, Nurse Midwife
I’ve long been captivated by the book of Revelation’s visions of worship—rich arrays of color, sound, language, rhythm and dance from every culture. Glorious! As I reflect on today’s passage, a startling question arises: Who is it difficult to imagine being a part of that scene?
I think of a friend who’s combating human trafficking by reaching out to the traffickers themselves with the love of Jesus. Another friend works with past and present offenders in the US prison system, rehabilitating them and offering hope for a new life. Yet another friend advocates for children with albinism in East Africa, asking, What if witch doctors—who maim and sometimes kill these children for the high market value of their body parts’ supposed supernatural power—were redeemed to become God’s agents of change?
These friends challenge me to consider new realities of the Gospel’s power. And they make me feel a strange mix of discomfort, intrigue and hope. I wonder how much more of God’s expansive heart there is for me to comprehend.
Revelation 7 goes on to describe why the multitude gathered around the throne of God worships with such unified abandon: they’ve been made clean through the sacrifice of Jesus; He’s become their shelter; they’re no longer hungry, thirsty or tortured by the heat of the sun; they’ve been led to springs of living water by the Lamb who has become their Shepherd; He has wiped away every tear (Revelation 7:13–17).
God generously invites all people to partake of these promises—regardless of their ethnic background, material success or sinful actions. He desires to make all things new for everyone, restoring each life to dignity and value as His beloved, image-bearing child.
Ask God to show you the people you might not expect when you imagine the celebration described in today’s passage. Thank Him for sending Jesus to redeem innocent captives, guilty prisoners, enemies and strangers alike. Ask Him to captivate you afresh with the breadth of His grace, that you may live in it fully and offer it freely to a broken world.
Read more from our Advent devotional series.