At the end of my last post, I quoted the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah from chapter 3, verse 17: “At that time they will call Jerusalem The Throne of the Lord, and all nations will gather in Jerusalem to honor the name of the Lord.”
At the time Jeremiah prophesied these words, they seemed truly impossible. Israel was falling apart, its people had begun worshipping idols, its enemies were picking it apart, and the end was near. Yet Jeremiah saw a day that ALL nations would come together in unity to worship and honor the God of Israel. As the hundreds of years went by, that prophesy seemed more impossible than ever. Unity of nations, unity of purpose? That dream has never seemed remotely possible with man left to his own devices. And yet…
We have returned to Israel at the beginning of the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanna. It is a beginning of festivals to celebrate the New Year, and one of our sister prayer rooms here in Jerusalem has sponsored the “ALL NATIONS CONVOCATION JERUSALEM” each year at this time for the past several years. Julee and I have the opportunity to serve these 1500 or so delegates from 160 nations of the world as they gather together in unity to worship God, proclaim Jesus, and tell stories about what the gospel is accomplishing in their nation.
Yesterday I listened to Iranian evangelist Reza Fakour speak with passion about the growing number of Iranian believers; he estimates the number at 8 million and growing. Last night it was the turn of the Chinese delegation. In a country where very few were Christian just a few years ago, it is estimated that there are 100 million believers today: one in every thirteen in mainland China. At the buffet dinner last night, we were literally surrounded by people of all nationalities and color and language, all rejoicing together and “breaking bread” with one another. I sat by a Jordanian woman from Amman who attends a small Christian church there. Her pastor also spoke yesterday.
We are privileged to serve these people and these nations over the next week as part of our duties here in Jerusalem, even as we recover from the 10 hour time differential from Tacoma. Jet lag, you won’t defeat us!