Filled with some of the country’s finest Native American music, dance, and art, the San Manuel Pow Wow is an annual three-day event held at Cal State San Bernardino. After hearing much about this cultural event, I wanted to see it for myself. However, I was not prepared for what I was about to experience.
As I made my way to the bandstand, the emcee introduced each tribe assembled around a great circle. As their name was called, the respective tribe’s band of drummers responded to the call with loud beats of drumming. As the chanting began, people from the various Indian tribes began entering the circle. Eventually, hundreds of fully dressed Native American dancers filled the area, creating crisis-cross concentric circles and they progressed their way around the arena. The figures dressed from head to toe in full regalia, the beadwork, bells, leather, feathers, and colors, along with the chanting, dancing, and drumming mesmerized the audience.
We’ve been studying about heaven on Sunday mornings, and this experience got me thinking the passage from Revelation 7:9.
“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…”
Could this pow wow I witnessed be a meager foretaste of what we will experience when we first see heaven? I could imagine the nations gathered, forming a great circle before our Lord Jesus. Red and yellow, black and white…all skin colors and hues represented. Imagine the deafening noise as each people-group shouts in response to their heavenly Father’s call, each person elaborately clothed in their nations finest.
Then to participate in the joy of the dance as we sing the praises of the one who paid the price to set us free. Every language crying “HOLY HOLY HOLY… Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing!” The cacophony of praise would be overwhelming as our Lord is magnified and declared the righteous, ruler of the nations. The angels would watch in awe…
That is one Pow Wow I don’t want to miss.
By Bruce Herwig