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Thought for the Day by Alex Forrest (Voluntary Staff Worker)
GENESIS 11:1-9 - Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. 2 As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there.
3 They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. 4 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.”
5 But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. 6 The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.”
8 So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth.
Do you ever look back on the past 100 years and feel floored by the amount of progress that’s been made? As people we’ve created, discovered, and changed so much in this world. Incredible new technology is being invented every day in China, Japan, and Silicon Valley, California. There’s a skyscraper in Dubai which is so tall there’s a 3-minute time difference between the top and bottom floor. We’ve reached the Moon and we’re heading for Mars! Sometimes you feel tempted to look around at all the things human beings are able to create and say “wow! We are amazing!”.
This idea is very much not an original one. The story of the Tower of Babel was written over two and half thousand years ago, telling us about early human civilisations settling into various places, forming communities, and building cities. So far you can’t fault their intentions. God would probably be very happy to see his created people starting to develop skills in architecture. Then in v4 we see the real inclination of the hearts of these people.
“Let’s make a big tower! Let’s make something we can be really proud of! Let’s make a name for ourselves!”. How many times have we seen people saying things like that in our world today? In our day-to-day lives we so often look around us at work, university, or school and see people constantly doing absolutely anything to make a name for themselves. “This bit of the design was all me! I’m going to smash this exam! I should be project manager because I’m great at this!”.
These people in Genesis 11 are eagerly trying to set themselves up as the new gods of achievement and progress, as so many people in our culture are today. Those inventors, scientists, and billionaire CEOs who think they can one day know everything or control everything. But just as he did at Babel, one day God will show to those people who’s in charge. He will show them just how tiny their powers will always be compared to his. If ever we look around at humanity and think of our glory and power, remember that all glory and power is God’s. Humanity can only be amazing when God allows us to be. When we try and do things for ourselves, God will not be with us. When God is involved in our plans, he will bless us and help us. As Psalm 127 says “unless the Lord builds the house, it’s builders labour in vein”. Let’s make sure our work, no matter what it is, is always for God, not us.
Bishop Hannigton Week of prayer
O come all ye faithful singing project
A lot of you were involved in the 'Behold our God' project we did during lockdown. A lot of the church family found it extremely helpful to see so many familiar faces engaging in a form of sung praise. I wanted to do something similar but on a much larger scale, involving as many people in the church family as possible, regardless of who they are or how confident they sing and play, and including families. And that includes musicians! Maybe time to get out and dust off an instrument?!
The carol we will be singing is a classic! O come all ye faithful
Please see the video below on how to get involved
I would like you to record yourself singing to this track. It is up to you if you want to be on video, some of you might find that uncomfortable, but the church will be blessed by seeing your faces! If you really didn't want to, then I can still include the audio of the record.
The best way to record is to have headphones on and sing along. And don't worry if it sounds rough on your end, I am planing to edit on my side so you will sound divine!
You can record on a camera, but most phones have a decent video recording option so you will be fine with that. Once you are done, if you send me the file either using Google Drive, or wetransfer.com Dropping a memory stick off at the office will work fine.
If you could get these vids back to me latest Monday 14th December. But please please do send much earlier than that, to give me a chance!
1) The track for you to sing along to:
O come all ye faithful - Church Project.mp3
2) The words for you to sing along to:
O Come All Ye Faithful.pdf
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