June 3

Genesis 11:1-5

“Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.” vs. 9

Those who composed the story of the tower of Babel realized how confusing the multiplicity of languages was for human cooperation. They claimed that the confusion was divinely inspired, that it was done to keep humans from doing the impossible. While the imagery is ancient the point of the story rings true. It’s immensely difficult for people who speak different languages to achieve more than a superficial unity when they come together. Communication is essential for harmony and cooperation and resolving differences. Those of us who have traveled throughout the world know what a blessing it is to meet people who have taken the time to learn our language. The development of languages is a long process and takes tens of thousands of years and it’s only logical that people in different parts of the world would have different words for the same things. This Sunday we celebrate the gift of understanding that took place when the Spirit was poured out on the gathering of disciples in Jerusalem. It was the reversal of Babel and a reminder that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings us together and never separates. The language of love that is ours in Christ knows no barriers, is easily translated, and is intended to make us one.

Thought for the Day: Why doesn’t everyone learn to speak English?

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