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Revelation 7

By Isaac Harris
In Formed
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It was the summer of 2020 when I discovered a group of people out of Atlanta that I never knew I needed. Like a lot of you, being quarantined at home as a family brought new rhythms and routines in our everyday life. If every screen time rule we had in the Harris house was going to be broken, let’s at least break it with something beneficial. Enter live worship sets on YouTube.

Max volume. Living room cleared out. Let’s worship.

This was (and still is) a staple in our house. And it was last summer that a video suggestion popped up from a band that I had never heard of before. We pushed play and honestly my worship life hasn’t been the same since. There was an organic authenticity in the song writing and delivery that I hadn’t seen before. It blended worship styles while paving a brand-new path of worship. It had multi-ethnic and multi-cultural representation that you don’t normally see in a worship setting. It had passion, transparency and creativity. It was Maverick City Music.

I absolutely love worship. There are many reasons I love worship, but its ability to transcend cultures, languages and barriers is so beautiful to me. The fact that I can be on the back pew of a church in the hollers of Kentucky worshiping the same God as when I sat in a church in Sao Paulo, Brazil singing worship in Portuguese is so powerful to me. In a world full of divisiveness, get me in a room worshipping alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ and suddenly political parties, culture differences or skin color doesn’t matter.

What Maverick City created last summer and is still creating now is a worship atmosphere that reminds me so much of the worship setting in Revelation 7. There is this great multitude of believers that is standing before the throne and the Lamb worshiping together in unison. But notice that it doesn’t say this “multitude” is Israelites or Americans. It doesn’t say that they are worshiping in Arabic or English. It says that the multitude is from every nation, tribe, people, and language. That when this day comes that we are all worshiping alongside each other around the throne, our focus is not what divides us, but rather what will be uniting us.

So why not aim for that now? Why not aim for the on earth as it is in heaven mindset with our relationships, businesses and…churches?

There is a difference in how John acknowledges the multitude in verse 4 compared to verse 9. In verse 4 John says that he “heard” the multitude while in verse 9 it says that John “looked and there before me was a great multitude”. John heard the multitude of every nation, tribe, people and language in verse 4, but then he saw the multitude of every nation, tribe, people, and language in verse 9. It was just a few chapters before this that John talks about hearing the Lion, but then seeing the standing, slaughtered Lamb. This sounds obvious, but there is a big difference between hearing something and seeing something.

I have heard people say all of the right things in regard to pursuing a on earth as it is in heaven mindset in regard to diversity. I’ve heard about it from businesses and corporations. I’ve heard about it from friends and family members. I’ve heard about it from churches. I’ve heard it come from my own mouth. But how often do we actually see it? How often do we see that mindset in action match the same words that we hear with our ears?

A big part of this mindset is why I am the new Communication Pastor here at IBC. I come from a small town in Kentucky growing up playing basketball and preaching at youth events. My wife, almost 5,000 miles away, was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil growing up singing worship and eventually moving to the US in her early childhood. After meeting in high school and getting married after college, we have lived in Dallas for the past seven years with our son Roman (2 years old), our daughter Mila (1 year old) and our dog Honey. We are an interracial family. Our kids are currently learning two languages and the Brazilian culture is just as prevalent in our house as the American culture.

And we wanted a church that valued that diversity. A church that doesn’t hide behind fluff statements of wanting to be more diverse, but rather a church that is putting actions behind their desires to pursue an on Earth as it is in Heaven church body. A church that is pursuing an atmosphere similar to the one described in Revelation 7.

I believe that IBC is pursuing that and my family and I are humbled and honored to be a part of what God has in store for the exciting future of IBC.

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