Reflections: May 28, 2021
Friday of the Week of Pentecost
By Jeffrey Horn
Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:9)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. As we continue to celebrate Pentecost, we rejoice that the Gospel of Christ Jesus has gone all around the world to all tribes, nations, peoples, and in many languages. Everywhere it has gone, the Spirit has blessed the preaching of Christ so that many people have believed and been saved. One of the beautiful things about the Christian Church is that there are people from every culture, every age, every stage of life--joined together as one in Christ.
Our lifestyles, cultures, and languages differ, but we are united together as one family in Christ. He has saved us all. He gives the same Baptism to us all. He gives the same forgiveness to us all. We all have the same hope, the same comfort, the same peace, the same love, the same grace, and the same Holy Bible that proclaims His victory over sin and death. And we will all rejoice together and praise His Name in the same heavenly kingdom.
Our reading today tells of a dark day in history. At one time people all had one language. They were united, but their goal wasn't to follow God. Instead, they wanted to make a name for themselves. They started by building a tower into the heavens, but it would have devolved into a truly destructive, organized wickedness. So God confused their language and scattered them over the face of the earth to limit their ability to unite around evil.
God didn't want us to be divided forever. He would come and unite us as one again, but not to serve the pursuit of power or the will of sinful man. We would be united by the One man who had never sinned--who came to serve and to give His life as a ransom. We would be united in Christ Jesus.
The Holy Spirit brings the Gospel of salvation by grace through faith in that man, Jesus. The Spirit has caused the Gospel to be preached to all the peoples who were scattered. In every land from every tribe, He has brought people to faith in Christ through that Gospel.
That Gospel comes to you, too! You have been baptized into the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You share this new birth with believers all around the world and across time. With them you thank God and praise His Name. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Send us Thy Spirit, teach us truth; Thou Son, O set us free From fancied wisdom, self-sought ways, to make us one in Thee. ("In Adam We Have All Been One" LSB 569, st.5)
-Rev. Jeffrey Horn is the pastor of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Escondido, CA.
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