We attended church with the Kennedys on Sunday morning (Palm Sunday). While on the way to church and in anticipation of the foreign worship service we were about to attend, we reflected on Rev 7:9-12.
It was noted for the first time that all the peoples, tribes, tongues, nations around the throne were holding palm branches. The first song we sang during the service was familiar, but in Indonesian. It was Holy, Holy, Holy (Suci, Suci, Suci) just like the cherubim around the throne. We were worlds away from everything we knew and overwhelmed, yet God was more real and more unchanging than ever as we experienced a glimpse of the throne room of Rev. 7 in a small Indonesian church that morning.
9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands,
10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.”
That morning at church happened to be a commissioning service for their new elders. The message was in Indonesian of course, but we were given the texts and sermon points that described Paul’s sacrifice in 2nd Cor 11, then in Gal 1 how Paul was committed because he was called by God not because of who he was or his talents. Then in Phil 1 – it was highlighted that to live is Christ but to die is gain. Our doubts and the idols of Western comfort were exposed; God’s word is just as personal and has just as much power and authority in Indonesia as it does at home.