Sermon: Pentecost C (OT)
Title: Babble Banished (MP3 Audio)
Summary: Ever seem like everyone’s talking and no one’s making any sense? Whether it’s many people or just one, if you can’t understand what’s being said — no matter how important it might be — you’re listening to babble. And if you’re the one who keeps talking while no one responds, maybe you’re the one who’s babbling.
Babble, noise, and confusion are signs of our fallen world. They divide and alienate us. Our world’s diverse languages make cultures suspicious of those they cannot understand. Many of us have heard a group laughing and talking in another tongue and wonder if we’re not the target of their humor.
Yet even though God divided the people by language and then geography, He always planned to reunite them in the promised Savior. That’s why the message of Pentecost wasn’t, “Come see what the Holy Spirit can do!” No, it was and remains, “Come see what Jesus did!” Sin and forgiveness, Law and Gospel, damnation and salvation — these are the poles of Pentecost preaching and they remain the Church’s vital message to a world still divided, suspicious, and confused.
Text: Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.”
And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the Lord said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another's speech.”
So the Lord dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. 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 11:1-9
Scripture quoted from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®, © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Audio: Click to hear the MP3 of Babble Banished.
NB: For some reason, a few people have had problems trying to play the inline audio if Windows Media is their default MP3 player. If this occurs, you can either change to QuickTime or another default browser player, copy and paste the link directly into a selected player, or download it to your computer, where it seems to work regardless of which player. Several folks have suggested VLC Player from VideoLAN.
Other Readings: Psalm 143; Acts 2:1-21; John 14:23-31
Hymn: See the preceding post for Upon the Plain of Shinar, a Pentecost hymn I wrote based upon this text.
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