From the Desk of Dawn Parr, Children’s Ministry Director

When my children were young and learning their first words, much of their speaking was what I would call “baby babble”. A full conversation would transpire, and although I did not understand what they were saying, they had my full attention. Soon, more coherent language was learned, and both boys became avid conversationalists at an early age.

Recently, an adorable video traveled the social media circuit, between a child and his father. There is a language barrier, but the love of the father is evident in bridging the gap of understanding.

Sunday school will continue the lessons in Genesis with the Tower of Babel. Found in Genesis 11, the descendants of Noah became a proud people and wanted to build a man-made structure to the heavens as a representation of their self-importance.  Somewhere along the family line, these people had forgotten His ultimate authority and stopped communicating with God. Their disdain for His love resulted in a confusion of the language that persists today.

Some will suggest this story is an age-old myth to explain language barrier. However, archeologists have found remains in current day Iraq. Herodotus wrote about it in 440 BC, and an inscription from King Nebuchadnezzar is still evident today.

The tower is real, and pride is on full display every day.

  • What does this say about you and me?
  • Have you built your own tower of selfish pride?
  • Do you believe your ‘language’ is superior to others and to God?
  • Have you chosen to keep God away, believing that He is just part of your Sunday morning routine?
  • Are you confused by the language of the Bible because it is a complete opposite of the world’s teaching?

If I am honest, I can answer yes to all accounts.

When I turn away from God, life becomes confusing —and the world around me is nothing but babbling nonsense.

Let’s return to our father and son chat video. Despite the language barrier, they communicated beautifully. I watched an interview of the father and he said that even though he does not understand his son’s language, his hand gestures, body language and eye contact help him to comprehend the messages his son is communicating. What a great example for us! Language barriers exist, even between those that speak the same language. We may talk to each other, but without God in the conversation, it’s babble. And because of our selfish pride, we choose not to listen to one another.

Tear down your tower. Listen beyond language. Make eye contact. Understand other forms of communication and come together as God’s children. If we allow the power of the Holy Spirit to communicate, we can be like those on the day of Pentecost, speaking one language—the language of God’s love.