Today is affectionately known by many fans as “Star Wars Day,” as in “May the 4th be with you.” I’m no expert in Star Wars, though I have seen all the movies. What interests me about this galaxy far far away is that it includes many star systems with many various cultures, lifeforms, and languages. Yet, somehow, they have all been colonized by the republic, and everyone can either speak “basic” or has some kind of droid that can interpret for them.
Wouldn’t it be great if we had such droids today! Communication with people from different countries would be a breeze! Of course, you can use google translate, but that takes far too much time, and often leads to confusion as the message is mistranslated. We live in a world where there are over 6,500 spoken languages! Since droids aren’t real (yet), we have to find other means to communicate with people.
When I was an evangelist with Open Air Campaigners, we would carry around a tract bag that had gospel tracts in it. When going to a city such as Miami, we would make sure there were gospel tracts in nearly a hundred different languages in that bag, because we never knew who would we come in contact with, and how to communicate with them. But this still leaves thousands of languages with which we could not share the Gospel. What’s more, Wycliffe Bible Translators claim that there are at least 2,000 languages that do not even have a Bible translation started in their language! There are many more that do not have a complete Bible translation made. For such people, sharing the good news of Jesus is a difficult task.
But in the beginning, it was not so. Genesis 11:1 says “Now the whole earth had one language and the same words.”
This makes sense. After all, the entire world had descended from Adam and Eve, whom God regularly visited in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Even started the first family with Cain and Abel, who were replaced by Seth. All of these children learned one language from their parents, and subsequently taught that language to their descendants.
Even As the world became unbearably sinful in Genesis 6, the people still only spoke one language. Noah and his family then repopulated the earth after the great Flood, a few generations have passed, and now we are in chapter 11—with everyone still speaking the same language.
Unfortunately, this is hard for us to picture today because language is one of the things in our world that divides us. Along with race, gender, economic status, and nationality, language is just one of the many walls that keeps us apart.
Praise be to Jesus Christ, who has torn down those dividing walls! In Christ, we are all one—one body, one church, with one faith, one baptism, and one God.
Yet, many churches are still divided by language. Many people from various tribes choose to worship with their own tribe in their own language. I’ve seen some churches that have an English congregation, a Spanish congregation, and a Chinese congregation. It’s sad that language still divides us today.
But, one day, even language will no longer divide us. We will be able to understand each other perfectly. People from every tribe and language will be worshipping Jesus together. Heaven’s going to be great! I hope to see you there!
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