Sunday, May 31, 2009

When the World Comes to You

Early on, the people got together and said, We can do anything. We don’t need God. We’ll build a tower and reach the heavens.

But God knew that their attempt to reach the heavens would only land them in hell. He wiped out their plans. He then scattered them. The way He did this was by causing them to speak different languages.

Is it any wonder we have trouble communicating? The world is full of people who speak different languages, have different cultural customs, different needs. Oh, and that little thing about being sinful.

Nothing has really changed since the Tower of Babel. There will always be miscommunication with our sinful minds and hearts at work. The only difference is that now we’re all over the place.

It’s interesting how the Pentecost account begins—they were all together in one place. (Acts 2.1) Kind of like back with the Tower of Babel. But this time they weren’t trying to reach up to heaven, God was coming down to them. The Holy Spirit descended upon them in a display of power that shook them up a bit (read the account in Acts 2).

What happened then was the apostles began speaking in many different languages. That’s because the world had come to them. People from all over the world were there and were now hearing the Gospel proclaimed to them in their own languages.

Whereas God had used at the Tower of Babel the creation of different languages to confuse them, He now was using different languages to bring different people to Him.

We’re in a similar situation in the world today. In America we don’t have to go to far off countries to bring the Gospel to people of other languages and cultures—people from all over the world are coming here. Even in your own home you have the world at your fingertips with access to the internet.

We of course continue to send missionaries all over the world, but the world has in a real sense come to us. What we continue to communicate to the world is what the Christian Church has always communicated to the world: the Gospel. It began in a bunch of different languages at Pentecost in Jerusalem and continues in far-flung countries around the world, in our own country, and even in our homes, where we can interact with people from all over the world.

At Pentecost Peter’s proclamation was of Christ crucified for the world. That continues to be our proclamation today to a world that is increasingly diverse but at our own doorstep.

No comments: