The Impact of a Multicultural Worship Experience

Written by Gissell Vazquez, Latino Discipleship and Worship Coordinator

"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... crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” (Revelation 7:9,10)

Every time I read this passage from Revelation chapter 7, I get the sensation that Heavens Celebration will be the best party that we could ever imagine. The hosts (The Father, God and Jesus, His Son) have planned every detail very carefully and had paid all the cost to give us a free entry. The guest list is unlimited and varied (...great multitude that no one could number from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages… vs 9) and you know what, the subscription has not expired, there is still a chance to register and be part of this. I wouldn’t miss it for anything!

When I think of all this I get excited. It will be great to have the privilege of thanking Jesus face to face for all He has done for me. And the other amazing thing will be, being part of a large multitude from all places on earth. People that with one voice, will be praising God forever. For once and for all, the differences between cultures and races won’t matter; all races, all economies, will be focused on God’s perfection, not on our differences.          

From all the ideas coming from this text, there is one in particular that draws my attention: The importance of celebrating God in the midst of several cultures, regardless of the differences. My personal opinion is that we don’t have to wait until the end of times to come together as one to worship God. Instead, we as followers of Christ should be rehearsing on a daily basis for that big celebration. I know sometimes it can be difficult, but I also know it can be done. I have the privilege of serving at a place where we enhance the beauty of different cultures and we are centered in Jesus, above all. This place is Mission Adelante.

From my personal experience as the worship coordinator here at Mission Adelante it has been a challenge and a great honor working in this direction. I remember what a great joy Easter Sunday was this year. It was my responsibility to prepare worship for a Multicultural Service that included people from Latin America, Nepal and the US. The arrangement of the songs included parts in Spanish, English, and Nepali. For this I had the pleasure to work with such incredible people as Jeewan, Sunil and Manisha from Nepal and our worship group: Oscar (from Mexico),  and Caroline and Annie (both from the US). It was such an unique experience that took a lot of effort, but it was so worth it. That Sunday morning when we came to worship as one church, not three, it felt that we had an advance entry, an open window that showed us a piece of how worship in heaven will look. You could see on everyone’s face, happiness. You could also sense an atmosphere of community all over the place, even though we all were speaking different languages. I think it was a successful day because we worked for a common goal: to worship God together, no matter the differences, loving and valuing one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. From that day on I knew that our communities had built new bridges and new ways of communication that have connected us at deeper levels.

This is definitely the kind of experiences that give us a glimpse of Revelation 7, and make the kingdom of God grow without limits. Experiences like this one are highly valued at Mission Adelante, because it goes to the center of what we envision: loving,  helping, and reaching people from other places.