On the weekend my family went with me to Ottawa, the national capital. I was there to preach at the second anniversary of Grace Baptist Church. We enjoyed our time with the people there and got a chance to visit with some dear friends that we have known from our days in Sarnia at Sovereign Grace Community Church. On Monday we went to the Parliament buildings (minus our son Seth who did not make the trip to Ottawa due to the Sovereign Grace Fellowship Youth Retreat). After the tour was over we went up the Peace Tower (pictured to the right) and then sat in on a discussion on legal reform in the House of Commons for a few minutes.
Since my visit to Ottawa I have been reflecting on a number of things. Canada is a land that has been blessed in so many ways. And yet today it is a country that tries to pretend that Christianity is not a big part of its heritage. What a mistake that is! While the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ is not of this world, that does not mean that God is not pleased when nations and peoples as a whole honor him and respect his laws. Canada seems to think that the secular option is the way to go. Accordingly, religious, and in particular Christian, ideas are pushed to the periphery of public life. Consequently, it is only a matter of time before Canada is fragmented and begins to come apart at the seams. No country can have freedom and democracy if there is not a shared consensus about the things that really matter. Presently, Canada is living off of her past and the convictions of those who made her great because they looked to the Creator God for knowledge and wisdom. But that past is being traded for a relativistic stew that will neither satisfy nor provide the nourishment needed to sustain future generations.
I do not want to give the impression that it is all bleak however. It is impossible to wander around Ottawa and especially the parliament buildings and not notice that the nations of the world have come to Canada. If you listen, you hear many different languages, and quickly come to understand that there are many different nations and cultures represented. For the Christian this is a wonderful opportunity. In Revelation 7:9 John sees a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing around the throne and in front of the lamb. It is a picture of the international people of God. The church will not be composed of only one ethnic or linguistic group. God has chosen to make his name great among the nations, from where the sun rises to where it sets. In every place incense and pure offerings will be brought to him, because his name will be great among the nations (Malachi 1:11). This means that when I see the nations coming to my country I should be moved to pray that God would help me seize the opportunity for his name's sake. Today the field are white and ready for harvest, but the workers are few. We need to ask the Lord of the harvest to send workers into his field, and then be prepared to become part of the answer to our own prayers!