Chinese Wontons and Worship

Stephanie Haugen, Associate Campus Pastor, South Barrington | May 29, 2024

After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,
who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.”

Revelation 7:9–10  

Last fall, our entire church experienced the fun and richness of community through food from around the world at the World Food Fair. It was an incredible day across the Chicagoland area as people from each Willow campus served up and shared cultural dishes such as Cuban arroz con pollo, Greek baklava, Korean beef bulgogi, Ethiopian injera bread, Texan brisket, Chinese wontons, and more! 

The hope of this annual event is that we eat together, celebrate the multicultural diversity within our church, and share our stories as well. Something very special and beautiful happened when tent hosts representing different cultures served side-by-side, building friendships and even connecting over food—there is nothing like it.

In our verse for today, we get a glimpse of what kind of people God chooses to surround Himself with, and our World Food Fair might be a sneak peek at that. God’s throne in Revelation is encircled by every tribe, nation, tongue—every culture, ethnicity, and language. Diversity was His idea, He created it, and He celebrates it!

But we must take note that within the wide variety of people surrounding Him, there is one distinct similarity— there is unity because of our worship. True worship of God is when we love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matthew 22:37). It’s when we prize God above everything else, even our own cultures and nationalities, and put Him first in our hearts.

At the end of the World Food Fair, we heard a participant say, “I love this—this is what I think heaven is going to look like!” And it’s true. Our World Food Fair may bear resemblance and be a small representation of what God desires His Kingdom to look like—both here on earth and in heaven. So let’s celebrate the diversity He created and be dynamically unified in our worship of Him. 

Next Steps

  • Consider taking a class in your local community devoted to studying a different culture or language, or join a multicultural group at our church. These experiences can help you gain a deeper understanding of the richness of diversity that God created. 
  • Consider hosting a tent this fall at the World Food Fair! You can start dreaming up your menu and building your team now for this summer. We’ll open tent host registration in mid-June!