AN OLYMPIC GOOD-BYE
Today, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics had its official closing ceremony. It was an emotional event as athletes from 91 countries around the world marched into the 80,000-seat national Chinese stadium called “The Bird’s Nest” to say their final good-byes. On television sets around the world the global community watched. Toward the end of the ceremony, they showed a very touching video. It was of Chinese people of all ages and vocations saying their final good-byes to the world. Children popped out from behind snowmen to wave a kindly good-bye. Students with tears trickling down their cheeks gently waved their good-byes. Shots were shown of policemen on street corners, seniors on their daily walks, and scores of ordinary Chinese people from all over the country, pausing to wave their emotional and final good-bye.
It took my mind to another day coming when the whole diverse family of God, from every tribe, tongue, and nation (Rev. 5:9-10) will be gathered from the four corners of the earth. Forever to be with Jesus. Jesus said to his disciples, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” (John 14:1-3)
The ceremony ended with an amazing fireworks display. Flaming missiles were fired into air from all over. As the first ones exploded in large blazing letters in the dark Beijing sky, they read: “One World.” “One Family.” The crowd erupted with deafening cheers!
One world has been God’s idea from the very beginning. One world united to love and partner with him in the oversight of his creation. (Gen. 2:15) It was man that put a temporary crimp in this plan through his deliberate act of disobedience. God labelled it as sin. While sin brought separation, God’s merciful act of redemption through Jesus (John 3:16-17) paved the way for man’s forgiveness and full restoration to Gods loving purpose from the beginning.
While the world today is a very dysfunctional family – there’s coming a day when God will step in and bring it all back together. In God’s heavenly kingdom there will be no divisions, no class distinctions, no socially elite, no paupers. God’s family will come together in absolute harmony to once again take their place to love and partner with Him in the oversight of his creation. And what a day that will be!
The Winter Olympics closed with the singing of the popular song sung at new year, “Auld Lang Syne” – which means, “Times Long Past.” How fitting! Again, my mind raced forward to a “time now long past.” Long past will be the sorrow and heartache that today grips people. Long past will be the pain of stressful relationships and the trouble imposed on us through our aching bodies. Long past will be the sorrow of saying good-bye to loved ones. Long past will be global conflicts, injustices, war, people displacement, discrimination. For Jesus will reign supreme. (Rev. 11:15)
In 1916, Rufus H. Cornelius penned a song that to this day strongly resonates within the hearts of God’s people. “Oh, I want to see Him, look upon His face. There to sing forever of His saving grace. On the streets of glory let me lift my voice. Cares all past, home at last, ever to rejoice.” Hope in God people! “Hope is borrowing the joy of tomorrow today.” (Hebrews 11:1)
Be blessed my friend.
The Barnabas Group / Loads of Love
Revelation 21:1-7; 22:1-6; Ephesians 2:1-10