Birds and Babel

Speaking the Right Language

[#Beginning of Shooting Data Section] Nikon D1X 2003/03/06 05:32:09.3 JPEG (8-bit) Fine Image Size: Large (3008 x 1960) Color Lens: 400mm f/2.8 Focal Length: 800mm Exposure Mode: Aperture Priority Metering Mode: Multi-Pattern 1/50 sec - f/5.6 Exposure Comp.: 0 EV Sensitivity: ISO 125 White Balance: Shade AF Mode: AF-C Tone Comp: More Contrast Flash Sync Mode: Not Attached Color Mode: Mode II (Adobe RGB) Hue Adjustment: 0° Sharpening: Normal Noise Reduction: Image Comment: [#End of Shooting Data Section]

The mockingbird is an interesting character. I came to this conclusion one early morning while I was sitting outside reading my Bible serenaded by the sounds of nature. At least I thought it was the sounds of nature. It turned out to be the sounds of one lone mockingbird who had perched himself upon my roof.

The mockingbird is known for mimicking other birds, anywhere between 50-200 according to Wikipedia. It’s also been known to mimic other animals such as cats, dogs, frogs, and crickets. The mockingbird has learned to speak the language of those around it, something the church could learn from.

Let me explain. If your desire is to reach the unchurched, the King James Version of the Bible is probably not the best version to use. It can be hard to understand, especially for those who didn’t grow up in church. If your church is located in a retirement community in Florida, your worship team probably doesn’t need to be rocking Hillsong’s Young & Free. Tailor your language to those you’re trying to reach.

When everyone within the church speaks the same language, great things are able to happen. We see this take place with the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. Pay attention to the wording God uses.

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Genesis 11:5-6

Nothing will be impossible for them. Why, because they were united and spoke the same language. Does this describe your last business meeting? If not, what can you do today to change that? Who are the people you need to meet with? Have you given the church a vision they can unite together to accomplish, because God is still capable of accomplishing the impossible? The Tower of Babel may have came crashing down, but something else amazing happened 2,000 years ago, the day of Pentecost.

On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability. At that time there were devout Jews from every nation living in Jerusalem. When they heard the loud noise, everyone came running, and they were bewildered to hear their own languages being spoken by the believers. Acts 2:1-6

 They heard their own language being spoken by the believers. The Holy Spirit unites them together. Peter preaches the gospel, and 3,000 people become believers on that day. It’s amazing what can happen when we start speaking a language that everyone can understand.

Do the people in your church speak the same language? What are some things you’re doing within your church to encourage unity?

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