Each in our own dialect

9 June 2019
The Feast of Pentecost
Pentecost C (RCL)

Genesis 11:1-9
Psalm 104:25-35, 37
Acts 2:1-21
John 14:8-17, 25-27

I have often heard it preached (and probably preached it myself), that Pentecost undoes Babel. But I don’t think that’s true. The point of Babel seems to me that God desire diversity, and wants the human race scattered over the face of the earth. God desire a variety of languages and experiences, so that we may learn from each other how others see God.

Pentecost does not give us all one language. Instead, each hears in their own dialect the disciples telling the powerful acts of God. Again, the point is that the Gospel is to be told in many languages, and spread over the face of the earth. Each perspective is important to the over all picture.

The problem with Babel was the attempt to all be in one place with one language — in other words to establish an Empire, to enforce a way of seeing the world. God instead desires diversity.

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