Wednesday 23 May 2018

Bible Book:

“And the LORD said, ‘Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them.’” (v. 6)

Genesis 11:1-9 Wednesday 23 May 2018

Psalm: Psalm 68:24-35


Those who read the account of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21) sometimes see in the events of that day a reversal of what is recorded in today’s scripture passage – the account of the Tower of Babel.

This passage begins with a story of technical advance – the people have learnt the art of brick-making. Immediately they use this new-found skill to strengthen their autonomy and set themselves apart from others. By building walls and towers, they were challenging God with their pride in their own achievements. They wanted, as the passage says, to make a name for themselves’ (verse 4).

God saw that this so-called unity that the people wished to impose ‘against others’ was not part of God’s own plan in creation. So God decided to subvert their plans, confuse their language and scatter them. In acting in this way God was not really acting against their aspirations, rather God was protecting them from the consequences of their own illusions.

After many years and through numerous detours the human desire for unity was made achievable – unexpectedly and in a far, far better way – in the miracle of Pentecost. The unity of Pentecost is far removed from forced uniformity – it is communion in diversity.

God’s unity can only be received as a gift – one brought by the promised Spirit of God.

To Ponder

  • To what extent do technological progress and the search for efficiency always work against listening to God and caring for others?
  • From your perspective, in what ways does the story of the day of Pentecost present us with a counterpart to this text?
Previous Page Tuesday 22 May 2018
Next Page Thursday 24 May 2018