Topic: Ephesians 2:14
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14
Berlin was divided after WWII and West Berlin became an island of democracy in a sea a tyranny. When the Eastern block countries tried to isolate Berlin, it was the decision of President Harry S. Truman and the commitment of the American people that responded with the massive Berlin airlift and the saving of a free Berlin.
As a young college student studying political science, I watched the television intently as President John F. Kennedy, visited one of the Berlin Wall's most notorious crossing points, Checkpoint Charlie. He uttered the famous quote: "Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is ?Ich bin ein Berliner. Freedom has many difficulties and democracy is not perfect," he continued. "But we never had to put up a wall to keep our people in." It was the turning point of the cold war.
Twenty four years later, once again I was glued to the television as I watched President Ronald Reagan stand in front of the wall and say: "Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" In 1989, communism fell and the wall came down. A divided city was unified into one.
A few months later, I once again saw the wall, this time in person rather than on television, as I walked through Checkpoint Charlie. It was sobering thought to freely walk through the wall........the one where on television, I had seen people shot as they tried to vault over the top. Even though the wall was gone, the difference between the vibrant western sector and the drab eastern sector was very evident. I picked up a piece of the wall and it is displayed on a book shelf in my study. In case I ever become callous about my liberty, I can always look at the piece of the wall, and remember the price of freedom.
Today, sixteen years later, once again I walked through Checkpoint Charlie, only this time the difference between East and West is hardly noticeable. Former East Berlin has blossomed like an oasis in the desert, with all sorts of new development. Less than a hundred feet across the former border is a Subway sandwich shop, a symbol itself of a free economy. What a difference it can make when walls are torn down.
Then I thought how, like the Berlin Wall, people build walls around themselves... walls of isolation, walls of bitterness and walls of hostility. Paul. In writing to the Church at Ephesus talked about tearing down the dividing barriers, the walls of hostility.
I thought how I have built walls around myself, walls to keep certain people out of my life and walls to isolate me from reaching out to others. But, the Gospel says tear those walls down, just as Reagan said to Gorbachev. So, today as I passed through that checkpoint I made a pledge to work on tearing down the walls around my life, to let others in and to reach out to even others. How about you, are there walls around your life? Consider tearing them down today
What walls have you built up around yourself, and how can you begin working in partnership with God to remove these emotional barriers?