Saturday, August 09, 2008

Olympic yearnings

I confess. I'm a sucker for the Olympics. I love the pageantry, the stories, the heartbreak, the triumphs. I love it all. I'll stay up til the wee hours of the morning watching any bizarre sport I can.

Yesterday we were watching the opening ceremonies. Pretty stinking awesome in my opinion. The sheer number of coordinated folks dancing was just mind boggling. And then they came to the parade of nations. The kids and I got out the globe and tried to find each country as they came on screen. The announcers kept talking about how just coming and marching in the parade was the highlight of many athletes' lives. They discussed various conflicts and issues dividing countries. They embraced the Chinese theme that through human work and struggle we can achieve peace. The show included many images of children and birds of peace as the idea of one world and one people was extolled.

And I was struck by how close it was to perfect. And yet, it was all still a shadow. We are created for one parade of nations. We are created for one giant spectacle of celebration. The one described by the apostle John in the 5th and 7th Chapters of Revelation:

"I heard a company of Angels around the Throne, the Animals, and the Elders—ten thousand times ten thousand their number, thousand after thousand after thousand in full song:

The slain Lamb is worthy!
Take the power, the wealth, the wisdom, the strength!
Take the honor, the glory, the blessing! Then I heard every creature in Heaven and earth, in underworld and sea, join in, all voices in all places, singing:

To the One on the Throne! To the Lamb!
The blessing, the honor, the glory, the strength,

I looked again. I saw a huge crowd, too huge to count. Everyone was there — all nations and tribes, all races and languages. And they were standing, dressed in white robes and waving palm branches, standing before the Throne and the Lamb and heartily singing:

Salvation to our God on his Throne!
Salvation to the Lamb! All who were standing around the Throne—Angels, Elders, Animals— fell on their faces before the Throne and worshiped God, singing:

Oh, Yes!
The blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving,
The honor and power and strength,
To our God forever and ever and ever!
Oh, Yes!"

That will be a sight for the ages. While the Olympic ceremony was lovely, it just created in me pangs of homesickness. I long for that day. The one where the commentators are shushed and we all turn our attention to Him. The only One who truly deserves glory. Where His work on the cross and His love are truly enough to still conflicts and create peace.


Lorie said...

I had the same thought...wouldn't it be awe inspiring if this celebration was for my Lord and Savior?! Thank you for writing this out and the reminder of Revelation.

Jean said...

Great thoughts Tamara...our hope is not found in this world, not in governments or people. Our hope is in the One God who created and redeemed us.