I enjoy looking around my local London church on a Sunday morning, taking in the array of faces. Along with British people, I see those from Nigeria, Uganda, Romania, Macedonia, Brazil, and many other places. I’m reminded of the vision John saw of a “ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation” (Revelation 5:9). In a small way, my multiethnic church reflects that picture—reminding me that, although believers have differences, we belong together.
Luke, in the book of Acts, describes how the church at Antioch was founded—through believers scattered due to persecution (Acts 11:19-21). Antioch, the third largest city in the Roman Empire, was a key place to share the gospel. As a place of trade, it attracted people from many nations.
And it would become a multiethnic center of Christianity, the place believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26, 13:1). When Barnabas experienced the “evidence of God’s blessing” in this diverse new church, he “encouraged the believers to stay true” to Christ (Acts 11:23). Then he and Saul (Paul) joined the church’s work by teaching there for a year (Acts 11:26).
We can find encouragement in the fact that ordinary believers in Jesus from different nations began this important church, simply by sharing the gospel (Acts 11:20-23). We might not all have the opportunity to worship among people from many nations, but we can—wherever we are—witness to the gospel and the beauty of God’s kingdom. We can intercede for believers around the world in the unique ways they share the good news (Acts 11:20). And we can pray for multiethnic churches, that they would be a compelling picture of God’s unity, hope, and the truth of His freeing message.
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”