The Local Language

Did he know how to say “hello” in the local language?

Genesis 11:1-9

Reference: Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. (‭Genesis‬ ‭11‬:‭1‬ NIV)

Explore: Through my work with CBM I found myself travelling to Nepal with only four days notice. As I sat on the plane with my colleague I asked him if he knew how to say “hello” in the local language.

Having never travelled to Nepal himself, he confessed he did not know. We were not even aware of the local currency.

I immediately chastised myself for being so poorly organised. I am not so talented as to pick up a whole language before a trip, but I at least like to be able to say “hello” and “thank you”.

While I am sure I say even these most basic words with the wrong intonation and a funny accent, it automatically breaks down some of the barriers caused by our different skin colour.

Application: When reading about the Tower of Babel I was reminded that before the tower was built, all of humanity spoke the same language. Imagine how good that would be!

Language is the biggest barrier when you travel and no matter how good your charades are, it causes great challenges. It’s a shame the people chose to unite with greed rather than work together to do something great.

It’s a good lesson for us too. We all have groups of friends or colleagues we connect with and feel like we’re on the same page with.

With this unity it’s important to build something that is good and holy rather than build out of greed and power.

Prayer: Lord, it’s easy to build with the wrong motive. May we strive to build communities with love and grace, not for our own benefit. Amen.

What is your community building?

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This article was written by Linda Bailey

Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.