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In my travels with the Baptist World Alliance I have noticed something that we human beings are really good at doing, actually we’re experts. Let me tell you what I mean. Some of these are pretty famous things that we’re experts at doing. In England I was visiting the Hadrian Wall. That’s a 73 mile wall built by the Romans to keep the Scots out.
When I was in Jerusalem, I was visiting and went by the wall that the Israelis had built, almost a full length of the country, a hundred and seventy some miles, in order to contain the Palestinians. When I was in Berlin visiting with the German Baptists and European Baptists, I stood where the old Berlin wall used to be, separating the east and the west.
When I come home and I go to Arizona, I see a wall that we have in our own country that’s 700 miles long that stretches from San Diego all the way to El Paso. And it is to keep the Mexicans out. And I hear in outer space there is only one evidence that humans exist on earth that you can see, it’s the Great Wall of China. Isn’t it interesting that we’ve become experts at building walls? And those are just the famous ones.
Think of all the walls we build with race and gender. And we build with economics and status and power and country. Think of the walls we constantly build. What about the walls between friends and between individuals? Someone does something that you don’t particularly like or makes you nervous or you’re suspicious of, and you immediately start building a wall.
It seems day by day, brick by brick, we are constantly building one wall or another. And that’s not even to mention the walls inside our own souls that divide our best parts from each other.
I want to give a good gift but on the other hand I have needs as well. I want to forgive but on the other hand I have my pride. Even inside we’re conflicted and we build these walls. We’re experts at that.
And yet Paul says that Christ is our peace. He makes us one. He knocks down dividing walls.
You know that’s our calling. We who are experts at building walls are called to be experts at taking them down. I think it’s time we start living up to our call.