A Song of the Nations

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

It begins with Alpha and ends with Omega. And all the letters in between show joyous and exuberant faces. They walk in fullness of peace and respectful brotherhood — they walk in love. This night, at this time, they are friends. Compatriots who celebrate each other, encourage each other and revere each other’s gifts and talents and abilities.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Their beauty is breathtaking. Surely God sits high on His throne and smiles as He watches. His people, His creativity, His splendor…uniquely individual yet remarkably the same. People…and a people. Nations…and a nation. Their colors blend and blur together making a human tapestry of sheer beauty.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

On this one night, in this one place, they lay down differences and opinions and preferences. There is no fighting, no rioting, no division. Though they are many, they are one.

They hold their banners high for all to see; they wave in sync with a song of harmony. The colors blend and blur on a mountain of solidarity. A full display of splendor and creativity and beauty of God’s goodness.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

There is one banner…one flag…that unites them as a brotherhood. “This design is symbolic; it represents the five inhabited continents of the world, united by Olympism, while the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at the present time.” — Pierre De Coubertin (1931)

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: 

They each offer their metal as a sacrifice. It lays on the ground, unassuming and extinguished. One is lit. The fire is contagious and they all react quickly and soon are all aflame. They are lifted high. In one accord. It burns brightly, light shining before men, challenging us to love and solidarity. Separate pieces of one large, beautiful puzzle.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

What a powerful display of heaven on earth, this Parade of God’s Nations. Imagine what it will be like in heaven, when people of every tongue, tribe and nation gather around the throne to sing praises to Jesus! To lift His banner high and proclaim His goodness and His love and His glory. To celebrate The Alpha and The Omega. As we cast our crowns of precious metals and jewels at His feet, His fire will be contagious and we’ll quickly be aflame with exultation. Separate pieces of one large, beautiful tapestry…

…and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.