River City Church - Smyrna, GA

Babel and Pentecost

June 9, 2019

Josh looks at a couple of texts from the Lectionary -- the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis and the story of Pentecost in Acts. In Genesis, we see a people looking to make a name for themselves out of fear that they will be scattered, and God confuses their language to disperse His people throughout the world. At Pentecost, we see a group of people from various regions of the world experience the power of the Holy Spirit and despite their multiple languages hearing each other in their own. And God unifies them to spread the Gospel of Jesus. We continue to experience this tension between being a people of Babel and a people of Pentecost -- between trying to make a name for ourselves out of fear and resting in the truth that we've been given a name by God, knowing whose we are, and accepting the invitation to God's mission for His namesake. Genesis 11:1-9; Acts 2:1-21. 

Josh shared a quote from Richard Boyce: "The motivation ('let us make a name for ourselves') and the fear that drives it ('otherwise we shall be scattered abroad across the whole earth') and the battle is on. What is possible only for God -- the granting of a name, by which humanity's fundamental fears might be eased, and around which humanity's necessary unity might be achieved -- becomes here a project for humankind, independent and counter to the gifting of God."