Reflections: Friday of Pentecost Week

Today’s Reading: Genesis 11:1-9

Daily Lectionary: Proverbs 8:22-36; John 13:1-20

So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of the whole earth. (Genesis 11:8)

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. The Tower of Babel has it all! Hardworking people trying to build a tower to God, and God’s saying that now “nothing that they propose to do will be impossible for them” (Genesis 11:6). God’s confounding the languages of the people and then . . . AND THEN scattering them all over the place.

I thought God said that it wasn’t good to be scattered and isolated! What gives?

To be sure, it’s good, right, and salutary that we do have people to talk to. But don’t forget that what you talk about also matters. The people of Babel were of one mind, which teaches us that it’s possible to be in agreement and be totally WRONG! The people of Babel had unanimously agreed that the best way to get to God was to make your own way to Him. If they think that they can build a tower to God, where will their ambition end?

In His great mercy, God  mixed up the language of the people so they couldn’t be one in their grave error. It’s not possible to get to God by anything we do, not even if the whole world says you can, God comes to us! God abides with us. To teach this, He confuses the languages, casts the people all over the known world, but He never stops talking to them.

God scrambled the languages, but new languages and new cities would pop up all over. The people would maintain these different languages until our current day, and by the day of Pentecost much of the known world would hear, in their own native languages, the clear and concise Word of God. Between Babel and Pentecost, God talked to them and continued to send prophets and judges, the pastors of old. All would have the Word of God to comfort them and to provide forgiveness of sins, to assure them that there’s no need to build a tower to God. Indeed, we can’t. Yet Christ, God and man, came down, the Word made flesh to bear our sins and become our Savior. He comes to us now each Lord’s day by bread and wine to give us what we desperately need, now and forever. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Lord Jesus, Word made flesh, as it pleased you in the days of old to speak to your scattered people by many and various tongues, so come to us, by the preached word given to us by our pastors and church, come to us by your Spirit in hearing we would be given faith to believe that you find us, come to us, speak to us, comfort us and forgive us this and every day. Amen.

-Rev. Adam Degroot is pastor of Calvary Lutheran Church in Rio Rancho, NM.

Audio Reflections speaker: Rev. Duane Bamsch

Come on an adventure with author Eric Eichinger as he unpacks the saga of Jesus’ Hero Journey. You’ll see how aspects of this journey are seen in popular stories, and how God used Jesus to create the most action-packed one with a real Savior for all. Now available from Concordia Publishing House.