Well, the Olympics have come and gone. As a Brit, I am happy that our team in Beijing won more medals than at any Olympics for 100 years and stood fourth in this world festival of international sport. As a Christian, I share the concerns of many around the world about the dissonance between the public face China presented to the world and the facts of the suffering and oppression that still go on in that country for many minority groups including some Christians.
But it was the opening ceremony that took people’s breath away. Did you see it? Absolutely spectacular, imaginative, lavish, and mesmerizing with its technical wizardry, it combined glorification of China with the celebration of a multi-national world in the parade of nations.
Immediately afterwards I got an email from someone suggesting that we ought to have a Christian equivalent – a spectacularly magnificent demonstration to the world of the multi-national body of Christ, from all the nations of the world. I wrote back to say that God has already had that idea, and we’ve all got booked seats for the greatest show on earth when Christ returns to usher in the new creation. Not only will there be ‘a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language’ (Rev. 7:9), but also there will be a great parade of the nations, as they bring their glory, wealth and splendour into the city of God.