A Pentecost Hymn
Upon the Plain of Shinar
Text by Walter P. Snyder, 1957–
Suggested tune: Gottlob, es geht nunmehr zu Ende
- Upon the plain of Shinar stood
The sinful heirs of Adam’s fall.
They formed and fired bricks of mud
To raise a town with tower tall.
- They said, “This tow’r and city bold
Shall serve as beacons for our race.
Their majesty our hearts shall hold,
To cease our straying from this place.”
- Their wicked, vain, and prideful hearts
The Lord condemned: “It shall not be.
Your evil minds pervert fair arts —
You think yourselves to be like Me.
- “This unity of sinful pride
Has led you to deep shame and woes.
Your evil efforts I’ve denied —
Now turn, O neighbors, into foes.
- “Your tongues,” He said, “Shall speak no more
What each the other comprehends.
Your pridefulness I do abhor;
Be banished to the earth’s far ends.”
- This curse upon our fathers’ pride
Its full and fell intent achieved.
Mankind was scattered far and wide
And foreign tongues were ill-received.
- To join the scattered tribes again
The Son of God took human frame.
By bloody death, through bitter pain,
He reconciled us in His name.
- Then came the time for Christ’s ascent
To God’s right hand, His heav’nly home.
The Holy Spirit Jesus sent,
To grow and counsel Christendom.
- The Holy Spirit testifies,
“Believe in Christ; be whole again.
Forsake fore’er satanic lies
And live as one with God and men.”
- Come, join in faith, each race and tribe;
Sing praise to God, the Father wise,
The Spirit, and the crucified
And resurrected Jesus Christ.
— W. P. Snyder © 2007
May not be used or reproduced without permission
Note: Genesis 11:1-9 is the appointed Old Testament reading for the Feast of Pentecost in Year C of the Three Year Lectionary.
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Walter Snyder is the pastor of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Emma, Missouri and coauthor of the book What Do Lutherans Believe.
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