Tag Archives: Babel

Pronouns

051516wordle

Biblical Text: Acts 2:1-21 (Genesis 11:1-9, Acts 2:22-41)
Full Sermon Draft

Pentecost, especially in the readings this year, is a day about language. For all we depend upon it, language is something that we don’t really think much about. We let writers and preachers do that. But if we don’t have the language for something there is a question how long it can actually exist, or if we can truly experience it. That is one of the spurs for stealing words from other languages – to experience and describe experience more precisely. One of the deep lessons of Babel is that when language breaks down, that is God’s punishment. Babel is God’s Punishment, Pentecost is God’s salvation.

The Jewish Pentecost was the receiving of the law at Sinai. That is the start of our salvation. It starts to make things clear, but the law itself has no power. That is this later Pentecost, when the Spirit is poured out.

The title comes from the diagnosis of a Babel and a call to a new Pentecost.

Our concluding Hymn is my favorite Pentecost one. LSB 500, Creator Spirit, by Whose Aid. The text is an ancient chant from the 8th century that comes to us through John Dryden the English poet. It displays both a sacramental view of the world and worship. At the end of verse two: Your sacred healing message bring, to sanctify us as we sing. But the jewel of it for me is verse three in how it describes the work of the Spirit abiding in us.

Your sevenfold gifts to us supply
Help us eternal truths receive
And practice all that we believe
Give us yourself that we might see
The glory of the Trinity.

Through the working of the Spirit, through His sanctification, we receive the eternal truth which is Jesus Christ. Receiving Christ and repenting, we then seek to follow him, to put into practice the love we have been give. And we do this because of our hope in the resurrection, that we might see the Trinity face to face. Just a beautiful hymn that maintains a bit of its chant origin.

All have fallen short…

Alex Tabarrok at Marginal Revolution (the best economics blog out there and possibly the best blog) on Three Felonies a Day, crime-less crime, the lost common law tradition as we have polluted our federal law, and the implications of the falling cost of obtaining evidence. If you don’t think this all adds up to tyranny, or think you are immune, you are deluding yourself and the truth is not in you.

There are also some great theological angles right out of Romans 1. Putting aside God and the moral law, turning to ourselves and the created order, God gives us over to our desires. So you don’t want an omnipotent and omniscient God who humbles himself on the cross? So your want to build a tower (or a computer system) that will keep your fame (or your infamy) forever? Fine. You get a government that can charge you anytime it wants. You get government bureaucracies that exercise their omnipotence against those out of favor without grace. You get a government that can track you anywhere. And soon to be added, knows everything about and controls your health. We get what we want.

But I’m just a ooga-booga, Jesus freak, religious nut. Pay no attention. 2000 years of reflection by the best minds of many times and places I’m sure are completely wrong and soooo passe anyway.