Surrounded by multiple languages, I see dividing walls which are difficult to scale. I long for the day when more hearts are unified than divided, and common bonds and shalom are greater than self and personal recognition. It’s where the Tower of Babel meets the cross of Jesus.
Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.”
Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
Genesis 11:1, 3-4, 7
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
I am in a place where there are many tongues of people around me. I have heard English, French, Spanish, and German and I am sure there are more languages present. And as I was sitting and listening to people speak foreign languages, I reflected that I wished we could all understand each other.
Which made me think of the Tower of Babel, and how mankind tried to make a name for themselves apart from God, with a focus on self instead of a focus on their creator. Sound familiar? We do this today, don’t we? In fact, Google Translate has become our answer to the Tower of Babel. We are rebuilding self-serving towers into the sky…
Jesus came to preach a peace to us which destroys those towers. He came to reconcile us all to God through the cross. And Jesus came to reconcile us to each other as one new humanity, characterized by his shalom peace.
I long for a day
When we use a common language to praise God
As one family together,
And when our ambition is for knowing God and each other;
and when we build together a tower of worship
In Jesus’ name and for his glory…