A Big Bang

1 Corinthians 14:20-25

20 Brothers and sisters, do not be children in your thinking; rather, be infants in evil, but in thinking be adults. 21In the law it is written,
‘By people of strange tongues
and by the lips of foreigners
I will speak to this people;
yet even then they will not listen to me,’
says the Lord. 22Tongues, then, are a sign not for believers but for unbelievers, while prophecy is not for unbelievers but for believers. 23If, therefore, the whole church comes together and all speak in tongues, and outsiders or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are out of your mind? 24But if all prophesy, an unbeliever or outsider who enters is reproved by all and called to account by all. 25After the secrets of the unbeliever’s heart are disclosed, that person will bow down before God and worship him, declaring, ‘God is really among you.’


Have you ever seen the TV Show “The Big Bang Theory”?  If not, the basic synopsis is that there are 3 scientists who are nerds or geeks and how they cope in the world around them.  One of the characteristics of the three main characters is that they are Trekkies and love all things Star Trek.  This includes being able to speak Klingon – a made up language full of grunts and guttural sounds that the species of humanoids known as Klingons speak.  Well, needless to say those around them have no idea what they are saying or doing when they speak this language and the three scientists can’t understand why it isn’t clear to the others.

It is this sort of experience that Paul refers to when people are speaking in tongues but yet there is no one to interpret or prophesy the word of God spoken from them.  Sure the unbelievers know and can tell that someone is from God because of speaking in tongues but what does it mean and what good does it do if the person sits in community but isn’t able to participate in that community?  Today in our society we don’t see a lot of tongues so we may think that this lesson isn’t one from which we can gain much meaning but we can.  Think of our language of worship.  If you are a new to this region or speak English as a 2nd language are you going to understand the acts or worship and be able to see and understand how our beliefs are expressed? Even if you never walk in our doors are you going to be able to understand why people attend worship and what a belief and faith in God is about?  It is up to us to show and to explain and to greet all newcomers to our space and explain to them our ways.  We are a community of faith and God works wonders through us and through our community and opens the eyes of the unbelievers to see His light around them and helps them to see how He is always among us.