For a few moments every four years, the Olympics Parade of Nations puts on the appearance of a united world. And it is a lovely thing to behold. People of all races, ethnicities, and languages smile and wave their nations’ flags as they are celebrated entering the stadium. Countries that often war against one another peacefully share the stage. A special team of refugees confidently show their faces and line up alongside athletes from the countries they have fled. Yes, I realize that the opening ceremonies briefly ignore the realities of this world. But it is beautiful to imagine momentarily of what could be.
In some ways, the opening ceremonies give us a glimpse of what will be. As the Apostle John records his heavenly visions in Revelation, he paints this picture in 21:22-26:
“And I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and its lamp is the Lamb. By its light will the nations walk, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it, and its gates will never be shut by day—and there will be no night there. They will bring into it the glory and the honor of the nations.”
Just as each country brought its best into Rio de Janeiro this past Friday, there will be a day when “the glory and the honor of the nations” will be brought into the heavenly city. What a sight that will be to behold! This will not be make-believe or a façade that ignores painful realities. This will be the new reality of eternal truth, love, and peace found only in the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ.
The opening ceremonies are a beautiful show of unity. Heaven is the real deal. Let the kingdom of heaven and its peace be real to you today, may it bless you, and may you be a blessing to others.