Sunday, May 1, 2011

pondering babel and the rally to restore unity

A rally to restore unity - what a fun and needful idea. See more here.

As I pondered what to say about unity, I couldn't help thinking about the tower of Babel. How God purposefully kept us from being "one".

God took one look and said, "One people, one language; why, this is only a first step. No telling what they'll come up with next—they'll stop at nothing! Come, we'll go down and garble their speech so they won't understand each other." Then God scattered them from there all over the world.
And yet Jesus prayed this:

Holy Father, guard them as they pursue this life that you conferred as a gift through me, so they can be one heart and mind as we are one heart and mind.


These two passages, in light of one another, cause me to consider that God does not desire homogeneity. He desires unity. And they are not the same thing. In fact, the desire for homogeneity is precisely what kills unity. At least that's been my experience.

We attend a church that is purposefully heterogenous. Our parking lot is a good example. The fact that people with such diverse bumper stickers can all worship in one place at one time without killing each other is pretty darn impressive. And yet it's not perfect. Sometimes it's not pretty at all. Of course it's not. But I wouldn't have it any other way. If all the people who think differently than me walked out the door, the body would instantly lose its beauty.

The minute we decide to erect a tower composed of "people like us", we are in danger of Babel. And the minute we think Babel is what God wants, we are in danger of grossly misunderstanding Him, His kingdom, His heart ...

Homogeneity glorifies us. Unity glorifies God.

At least that's where pondering has led me thus far...

We were asked to share a Rally to Restore Unity sign in the spirit of the famous signs seen at Jon Stewart's Rally to Restore Sanity (which our family attended, by the way - GREAT TIME!). Here's mine. :)

4 comments:

Rachel Held Evans said...

"Homogeneity glorifies us. Unity glorifies God."

Brilliant.

Ron Amundson said...

One heart, one mind, many people and many languages... fascinating. The tower of Babel warning is a way cool way of looking at unity!

Bluebonnet Mama said...

Wow! I've never thought about it in that way before. Thank you so much for this post.

McDeadmeat said...

Great ponderings - you state it so well, this idea of unity and how the Kingdom of God looks!