Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth.” But the Lord came down.
Pride Divides, The Spirit Unites
It didn’t seem like they were doing anything wrong. They wanted to build a tower to reach the skies. They united around a building project. They were getting along.
But God had different plans for them. After the flood, he told Noah and his family to “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth” (Genesis 9:1). But the generations following Noah wanted to stay put. They were comfortable. They wanted to build more than just a tower. They wanted to build a name for themselves. Their pride led to their divide.
“The Lord came down” and confused their language, so that their building efforts came to screeching halt. They could not understand each other, so they parted ways.
Haven’t we wanted to build something and accomplish something to make a name for ourselves? Haven’t we planned according to our will above God’s will? Haven’t we made comfort and convenience a higher priority than doing what God wants us to do? That sinful pride divides.
But God unites. The Lord came down another time. This time he did not come to scatter. He came to gather. Jesus, true God and true man, came down from heaven to mend the divide your pride has caused between you and God. He came to save all who are scattered throughout the world. By his perfect life and death on the cross he made peace between you and God. He rose from the dead and promised to send the Holy Spirit.
And he did. He sent his Spirit 50 days after he rose from the dead on a day called Pentecost. He sends his Spirit to you through his Word and through baptism. The Spirit unites. He unites you with the God who created you and saved you. He unites you with his family—the church.
By the power of the Spirit, you are no longer separated from God; you are united to him, now and forever!
Come, Holy Spirit, and kindle in me the fire of your love! Amen.