August 26, 2020
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility…
Jesus’ death on the cross was intended not only to reconcile mankind to God, but also to each other. And our sermon this week proclaimed the need for all of us to “take a sledgehammer to the wall of hostility” in our own lives. When I heard that I immediately thought of the dismantling the Berlin Wall back in 1989. The iconic pictures of joyful people swinging hammers and tearing away stones are memorable and beautiful.
But it was still hard work. Bricks and stones needed to be struck and broken, holes needed to be expanded, rubble needed to be carted away. It didn’t happen overnight, and more than a few people broke a sweat!
And so it is with the walls of hostility in our own relationships. These walls of division and anger don’t just go away because we wish them to, and they aren’t dismantled by a few nice words or gestures. It takes hard work, and it takes time.
Here’s a sledgehammer exercise to try today: Think of someone you despise. Maybe it’s an ex, maybe it’s someone who has wronged or offended you, maybe it’s the President of our country. Who do you strongly dislike, even hate (for whatever reason)? Now take some time to sincerely pray for that person. Pray for their health, their well-being, their wisdom and their blessing. Go before the Living God and ask Him to bless this person even ahead of yourself!
It’s not easy, is it? It’s not easy to truly desire good for another when there’s a wall of hostility between you. These are the walls Jesus came to destroy.
Ask God today to show you the “walls of hostility” in your own life. Which are the ones you are ready to tear down? And what steps might you take this week to pick up your own sledgehammer and begin the demolition Jesus is calling you to?