This coming Sunday is Pentecost. Since Old Testament times, it has been an important harvest festival falling on the 50th day after the Passover Sabbath (the Saturday before Easter). Today it is remembered as the day the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ followers. The readings for this Sunday are: Genesis 11:1-9, Acts 2:1-21, and John 14:23-31.
The Old Testament reading from Genesis is an interesting addition to the Pentecost theme. It describes the ancient arrogance of mankind, using the latest technology of brick-making to “make a name for themselves”. Advances in technology aren’t bad; they are gifts from God intended for our blessing. But in the hands of sinful man they are sometimes used to play God rather than to honor Him. When God confused the languages of mankind, He did so as judgment on their arrogance. One way to see the miracle of languages that happened at Pentecost is as God’s reversal of the ancient curse at Babel. What are some examples today of technology being used to play God or dishonor Him? How can it be used to share the message of Christ?