Mexico won its opening FIFA World Cup match against Germany (the defending World Cup Champions) and the earth felt it—literally.
BY JON GARCIA
Shortly after Hirving Lozano scored the game’s single goal, a small artificial earthquake was detected in Mexico City. The Institute for Geological and Atmospherical Investigations (a non-government agency located in Mexico) tweeted about seismographic readings they detected that were probably due to “massive jumps” of celebration.
But it wasn’t only Mexico City that celebrated Lozano as king. Thousands of soccer fans gathered in the streets of greater Los Angeles to celebrate as well. And they continued to celebrate for hours after the game was over.
Just outside of LA in a suburb called Huntington Park, masses of Mexican soccer fans gathered to take their celebration to the streets. They honked car horns, danced to music, and raised their voices with loud praise of the historic win.
To some, these celebrations seem pointless and confusing—but to others, these celebrations are beautiful, carrying deep significance. After all, there are very few times where thousands of people come together to celebrate a joyous event with such fervor. Yet, sporting events seem to have this effect on people. And the World Cup is just the latest example of that.
But this was not just any celebration. This was different.
This was not just any group of people celebrating victory. No, this was a large group of Mexican people celebrating victory (and that’s where the beauty lies).
Many of the folks that celebrated the Mexico victory are American citizens. Yet, they saw no problem parading the streets of Los Angeles in celebration of a foreign country’s sporting team. Why? Because these people understand that they possess a form of dual citizenship.
Some of these folks formally possess dual citizenship, while others figuratively possess it. Yet all unanimously hold the country of Mexico near and dear to their heart. And while this celebratory picture of dual citizenship is a little incomplete, it nonetheless serves as a reminder of what Heaven will look like.
In Revelation 7:9 we read that the final gathering of God’s people will come from “every nation, tribe, and tongue.” And as God’s people come together to celebrate in worship, we see the beauty of God’s plan for unity (Ps. 133:1, John 17:11; 23, Eph. 4:3-5) in diversity (1 Cor. 12:12-14, Gal. 3:28, Col. 1:16-17). As distinct people groups, these faithful believers are united in Christ—while simultaneously maintaining their tribe and language (Rev. 5:9).
So next time Mexico wins a game and thousands of fans flood the streets to celebrate, be sure to rejoice in that picture of heaven. Remember, it’s only an image (after all, not everyone celebrating is a Christian), and some of those people don’t even realize that the object of their worship is misplaced. Still, it serves as a reminder of what heaven will look like. It’ll be a place where various people from different tongues and nations will gather to offer worship to the true King who purchased victory for all who believe in him.
And on that day, the streets will once again be filled with horns, music, and raised voices of worship…but this time praise will find its rightful place. And you can bet on that day, they’ll be some serious seismic activity. But this time it’ll be the heavens that shake.
Jon Garcia is a writer, storyteller, and aspiring theologian. He lives in the Los Angeles area where he spends most of his time working on PhD studies and serving the Latino/a community. For fun, he hosts Storyography, a podcast where he shares true life stories about interesting experiences he’s had.