I broke up with a guy just before Christmas of last year. We dated for a minute, and he was sweet and lovely...giving me a precious birthday gift even after we ended our romance. It was a picture of those famous hands painted by Michaelangelo on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel--God's hand reaching for Adam's. It is a glorious part of the artist's masterpiece, but it is just that...a part. We see those hands that think, "Yeah, those are really something," but if you see the entire ceiling, with all of its images and allusions and details, it might render even the biggest talker speechless...and we see Michaelangelo's genius, talent, and perseverence as never before, and we stand in awe of him. I mean, how can you not?
I was thinking about this idea in light of God's plan for the world...asking questions like, "Why did He create such different cultures (see the Tower of Babel story...), different people with various values and customs and histories and songs and dances? And why does He want their worship?"
The answer lies in the Sistine Chapel--just as the print of the hands is beautiful and glorious, so is the worship of each culture individually--its precious to God and a sweet smelling incense. But, just as that portion of the chapel is nothing compared to the ceiling as a whole, which leaves you breathless and in awe of the artist, so is the worship of each culture collectively, in their own, unique way. The picture of every tongue, tribe, people, and nation worshipping their heavenly Father leaves the world breathless and in awe of the Creator.
That is why He created nations and languages and customs and cultures...because each one's worship reveals another facet of who He is and how He is. Each culture brings its own dance, its own song, its own instrument, its own beat, its own wisdom and humor and love...and when all of those are brought before Him who sits on the throne and unto the Lamb, every creature in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and seas and all that is in them worship. The worship of the nations reveals to the world His greatness.
If you care at all for the worship of God...if you think that He is worthy of our praise, then you must, I repeat, MUST, care about the nations, as their worship is just as precious to Him as your's. If we are living for His name and His glory and His renown, then our hearts should break that He is not being worshipped worldwide. Our hearts should be jealous for His worship among the dark places of the world...places where His light can bring healing, love, peace, restoration, deliverance, and the joy that is found in the worship of the living God.
Just as in the picture, God is reaching...will we be His hands? Will we be is feet? Will we...?