The crowd on the day of Pentecost: “Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” (2:9-11). That's just amazing! All sorts of people from all sorts of places. Very much like the U.S., today. Just thinking through this, the U.S. is the one nation in the world that is made up of immigrants. Japan is almost wholly made up of people of direct Japanese descent. China is over 90% Han. Korea is Koreans. Israel is largely Israeli. North Africa is Arab. Iran is Persian, with some Kurds thrown in in the north. (All generalities; for example, I suspect that many North Africans consider themselves other than Arabic.) And on and on. But the U.S. . . . well, it’s very much like the day of Pentecost and becoming more so by the day. What opportunities for the gospel! The promise is for us, but it is also for these and many others who are far off, all whom the Lord will call (2:39). The Apostles’ Creed declares, “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints,” a communion that is comprised of people “from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages” (Revelation 7:9).
We are the church together!
All who follow Jesus,
all around the world!
Yes, we’re the church together!
We’re many kinds of people,
with many kinds of faces,
all colors and all ages, too,
from all times and places. -- Richard K. Avery, Donald S. Marsh (1972)