Tear Down Those Walls
By Richard Sanders
Every day we hear of terrible things that are happening all over the world which can quite simply cause us to declare ‘what is the world coming to?’ Only a few years ago no-one had even heard of ISIS, and a terrorist attack was something that happened in a far flung part of the world with little or no affecinon our daily lives. But today, these things are becoming a daily occurrence. They are in our thoughts, conversations, politics and just about any other area that you can think about.
Everything is moving at such a pace – things are changing so fast and the danger is thinking that there is nothing that we can do to stop it. But the truth is this: it’s nothing new. it’s part of human existence. The writer of Ecclesiastes puts it so simply, ‘What has been is what will be and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun’ (Ecc 1:9, ESV). What he’s saying is that nothing ever really changes in this world except for the faces, the names, the methods and political dynamics. We will always have change and not just for the worse, but sometimes for the better.
“IN EVERY CHANGE OF LIFE, THREE THINGS REMAIN, FAITH, HOPE AND LOVE!”
Some say the answer to today’s problems is to do exactly what has been done so many times before, build more walls, tighten our defenses and preserve what peace we have left! When will we learn? That is not the answer. Building walls are exactly what those who seek to kill, steal and destroy our freedom want us to do, but all that does is limit our effectiveness and enables the enemies of freedom to have free reign in the lives of those who are outside of our gates!
As followers of Christ, we should always look to Jesus to be our example. All throughout Jesus’ ministry, His focus was not just on those ‘within’ but also those who were seen to be on the outside. He seemed to have a special focus on those who were excluded, whether because of religious, cultural or social attitudes. His motive towards all these people was one of love and acceptance, but not everyone agreed in bringing these barriers down – they did everything they could to oppose change. Nothing has altered over the ages – change is inevitable and yet it is seldom freely embraced. However, change can bring with it great opportunity!
Our response to this ever-changing world should be one of hope and not of fear.
Our response to this ever-changing world should be one of hope and not of fear. In 1 Cor 13, Paul speaks about love being the greatest gift that we can give and receive. He said that in every change of life, three things remain, Faith, Hope, and Love!
As followers of Christ, our response to this ever-changing world should be to have faith in Christ, to be messengers of hope, and carriers of freedom to a confused and fearful world. We can’t sit back and wait for our world leaders and politicians to do it – we must take responsibility for our world, in both what we say and do! We can start by reaching out to those closest to us, one person at a time, and actively seek how best reach those who are further away.
Paul’s encouragement in Galatians is just as relevant for us today – ‘What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!— harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life.
So let’s not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time, we will harvest a good crop if we don’t give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith.